May 2003 posts

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Who has a soul? -- skeeve, 08:19:39 05/02/03 Fri

Any thoughts on whether Lorne has a soul?
How about Doyle? He was human on his mother's side?

[> Re: Who has a soul? -- lunasea, 08:22:37 05/02/03 Fri

The soul is what orients a creature to good. Any creature that is capable of good has a soul. Half-demons tend to have one and I would bet that Lorne has one. Otherwise, we would have to come up with selfish reasons for Lorne's actions and I don't think ME wants to go there.

[> [> Lorne definitely has soul....I've heard he's also quite good at disco.... -- O'Cailleagh, 08:53:12 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> O'Cailleagh! you made me spit coffee on my screen - LOL! (careful, monitor spoilers above.) -- WickedBuffy, 09:21:07 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Who has a soul? -- yabyumpan, 10:46:37 05/02/03 Fri

The soul is what orients a creature to good. Any creature that is capable of good has a soul. Half-demons tend to have one and I would bet that Lorne has one. Otherwise, we would have to come up with selfish reasons for Lorne's actions and I don't think ME wants to go there.

I'm not sure it's as cut and dried as that on AtS. I would assume the the Prio Moto(sp) demon from 'Judgement' didn't have a soul and yet he was motivated to do good, unlike the rest of his species (according to Wesley's research). We also have 'neutral' demons like Merl and peaceful, balancing demons like the Kwaini from 'The Prodigal'.

I almost feel that the 'soul = good' argument is pretty redundent on AtS, except in reference to Angel and other vampires. I haven't done an actual count (although I'll get round to it one day), but it seems to me that most of the 'bad guys' are actually 'souled humans' - W&H (I'm including everyone who worked there, or why else would the Beast want to destroy them all?), the brothers from 'the Ring', Bethany Chalk's father, Billy Blim and family(more human than Angel),the misogynistic cabbie from the same episode, Tony Papazian from 'Sense and Sensitivity.....I could go on.

AtS has blurred the lines to much with 'good' demons and 'bad' humans for the concept of 'soul = good' to make much sense. If we're talking about Lorne having a soul, do we mean 'human soul'? There doesn't seem to be any suggestion that this is the case, so if he does have a soul it must be a 'demon' soul, the same as the rest of his species. This also applies to all the other good/neutral/balancing demons. Are they that way because they have souls even though the souls are demon souls are they 'good/neutral/balancing' because they somehow have 'essence' of human souls?

Because of the above I find the whole 'soul' debate to be almost irrelevant on AtS. It's not about the soul, it's about good and evil, right and wrong and all the grey inbetween, it's about choices and consequences, friendship, family and love. The soul, except with Angel and other vampires, doesn't come into it IMO.

[> [> [> Re: Who has a soul? -- lunasea, 11:24:55 05/02/03 Fri

Actually the soul is very important on AtS. If Lindsey didn't have a soul, he wouldn't have been redeemable. Same with Faith. The soul is the spark of humanity Giles and Xander could reach in Willow.

I didn't say the soul meant someone was good. It makes them capable of this. Ryan was the only soulless human we have seen. That is what happens when someone is soulless.

We don't know why the Prio Moto was protecting the woman. Good acts can come from selfish motives. Angel assumed that because he was protecting her, he was good. Angel also assumed that because he was a big assed demon he was trying to harm her. We just don't know.

Joss has said that the soul orients someone to good. Until he says otherwise, I will go with that. It shows what choices someone has to choose from. That is very important on AtS and will become more important as the series progresses.

[> [> [> [> Re: Who has a soul? -- Sol Eater, 12:54:06 05/02/03 Fri

"Actually the soul is very important on AtS. If Lindsey didn't have a soul, he wouldn't have been redeemable. Same with Faith. The soul is the spark of humanity Giles and Xander could reach in Willow."

What about Spike? Wasn't he already redeeming himself before he got his soul back? Heading towards good?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Who has a soul? -- lunasea, 18:22:13 05/02/03 Fri

Redemption involves three things--contrition, confession and penance. I do not want to get into the Spike debates, but these things are absent pre-soul. Jane has said that chipped Spike wasn't about morality. The chip is like the soul, except for the heart behind them. Without that heart, no morality, no redemption. Still an interesting story though about human interactions.

Redemption is more than just doing good now. It involves past behavior as well. When did Spike do that pre-soul?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Good ? Did Spike do anything good before he was resouled? -- contumelious, 18:47:12 05/02/03 Fri

Never helped the Scoobies out en masse or as individuals. Never helped in strategizing or even hand-to-hand fighting demons. Never watched over or protected Dawn. Drank human blood up until the moment he was re-souled. Couldn't even just sit still, on a back porch, quiet, to be supportive in silence of someone elses pain.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good ? Did Spike do anything good before he was resouled? -- Angelus, 01:08:14 05/03/03 Sat

I'd agree with all your points except the blood drinking. With the chip, he was incapable of drinking human blood, at least from the tap.

They've definitely greyed things up. Most of the old easy definitions of what differentiates souled from unsouled don't work anymore because of Spike. With demons you can always get around it because a species could have souls and still have a predator or killer nature to overcome.

The soul equals the capacity to experience guilt? Remorse? A conscience?

I save you every day. Not when it mattered though. = remorse?

The way he reacted after he realized what he did with the attempted rape = guilt?

Rather than turn this into a Spike debate (and in a Spike debate whether you like or dislike the character becomes all that matters) I would say that without a soul, you can feel guilt and remorse. Under extreme circumstances, you might even be able to sympathize or empathize with someone's pain though it would have to be a very unusual circumstance as no vampire seems to have a general capacity for empathy discounting those with souls.

I would say that the 'moral compass' isn't there without a soul. Then that just leads to the question, exactly what the heck is a moral compass?

Now here's an interesting idea I once heard. In a Robert Heinein book (which did not deal with supernatural things such as souls) a character once suggested that humans have a 'moral sense'. Another character who I think reflected Heinlein's views, said that Man has no moral sense. What we have is a survival instinct. When it was suggested that humans are often willing to sacrifice themselves for others the response was that only a simplistic mentality would think that 'the survival instinct' meant only personal survival. Even animals have been known to sacrifice themselves to save another of their species. Taking this idea and putting it into the Buffyverse, I've heard people argue that the core of it is that a vampire does not think of itself as human. However a souled vampire gains/ regains a sense of itself as human. So Angel thinks of humans as 'his species' while a soulless vampire no longer thinks of humans as his species.

I realize this breaks down because then vampires should have a protective instinct toward each other and yet they don't seem to have much in that way. In some respects addressing supernatural issues is the classic how many angels can dance on the head of a pin argument. We first need to ask the question: is the portrayal of vampires consistent? Did they make choices with Spike as writers that were dramatic at the moment but wreaked havoc with continuity?

Anyway, I think one of the biggest problems for me with the whole 'moral compass' argument (though I think its the only one that makes any sense) is the very existence of the moral compass or at least how you distinguish it from social conditioning about right and wrong.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good ? Did Spike do anything good before he was resouled? -- lunasea, 05:41:21 05/03/03 Sat

A man is attracted to a girl. She doesn't like him. That girl goes to Church every Sunday. The man goes to Church to be near her. She still doesn't like him. He decides to get baptized so that she will like him. When he is baptized, the Holy Spirit descends on him, thus changing him forever and making redemption possible. People don't get points for going to Church for a girl and it isn't redemption when it is done for a girl. It has to be done for goodness sake.

ME is big on redemption. It has no problems religious imagery to show this. It is big on baptism. It gave rebirth to its Champion on Christmas. Prior to the soul, no such imagery around Spike. Spike is resouled on his knees and then the religious imagery with him starts.

I am just going on what Joss himself has said. The soul orients the moral compass to good. A vampire is oriented to evil. There was an attempt to actually redeem Spike. It was done by Dru in "Crush." There was contrition and confession in that episode about past deeds. It was a great twist on it.

In "Seeing red" Spike felt guilt for not being able to do it. At the end of "Intervention" he is feeling bad also. Why? Because he just did something against his moral compass. Without a soul, you can feel guilt. It is just for doing good rather than evil.

It is an amazing exploration of this theme which in no way takes away from Spike's journey.

[> [> [> [> Who has which soul? -- manwitch, 19:25:02 05/03/03 Sat

Who has a soul?

Hmmm. The soul has been discussed many many times throughout history. Different philosophers, theologians, etc. have had different views of what it is, where it comes from, how it operates, of what use it is. A huge number of these divergent views are still with us today, held by different people, and even held by the same people at different times or in different situations.

Yes, I have a point. And it is that in our "real" world, there is no single one meaning of "soul." There are many. And since I more often than not tend to the idea that our thoughts and beliefs populate reality, it means that there are many different souls.

If there are different kinds of souls in our "real" world, it doesn't seem outrageous to allow for different kinds of souls in the Jossverse.

Are Spike's soul and Angel's soul the same? I have argued, since long before Spike had a soul, that the one he was going to get would not be like Angel's. And personally I don't think it is. Angel's soul is Angel's moral compass, that allows him to continue a particular mission of virtue and salvation. Without it, he is incapable of doing good things, or even selfish things that have good consequences. I would argue that Spike's soul is different. That its a millstone around his neck.

I know that you don't really care to talk about Spike or get into the Spike debates. I understand. However, I think Spike will always be the problem that crops up against the argument you make. Spike clearly was capable of good pre soul, or at least he was capable of selfishly motivated acts that had good consequences. But to argue, for example, (and I am aware that you have not explicitly made this argument) that Spike's withholding of Dawn's name from Glory in the face of extreme torture was selfishly motivated because his interest was in not seeing Buffy destroyed, and that it therefore was not a good act, well it would get into a wierd area in terms of what "good" means.

I would argue that Spike's soul is intended to be a contrast to Angel's, rather than a rehashing of it, and consequently the way it relates to their ability to choose good or ill will also be different. To the degree that I believe what you say about the soul orienting someone to good, I would have to say that Spike's soul is therefore Buffy, not this mystical thing that some monster stuck in him. The Spike soul they talk about on the show is a direct result of the chip, which functioned as a surveillance mechanism on Spike operating from within, causing him to police himself, to create an identity of himself capable of keeping his behavior within the confines of that surveillance, narrowing what Spike was, what his possibilities were. So, yes, it kept him from killing folks, and we tend to agree that's a good thing. But we also all recognize that there is a loss as well, a loss to his audacity, confidence, and vitality. One could interpret this by saying the chip manifested itself in the soul, that by internalizing the surveillance of the initiative and the chip, Spike created a soul that imprisoned his body, kept it from behaving in unauthorized ways. This interpretation smacks of a very real and very contemporary philosophy of the soul that derives from Nietzsche and is most thoroughly elaborated in the work of Michel Foucault. It is quite plausible that the creators and writers of the show are aware of it and are using it deliberately, not to subscribe to it necessarily, but to explore it and certainly to contrast it with Angel's soul, which stems, I would argue, from the mid eighteenth century. The force which actually causes Spike to be able to do good, however, is not his "soul" as depicted in the show, but his love for Buffy, which is pre soul, and at times selfish and misguided.

I also will continue to argue against the redemption thing, except where Angel is concerned. So to the degree that the soul is required for someone to be redeemable, well, it has all the significance to me of a candy bar. Spike does not need to be redeemed. In the redemption sense, what happens to Spike is unimportant. Buffy needs to recognize and acknowledge Spike's humanity. Its not about what Spike needs, its about what Buffy needs. I am one on this board who completely agrees with you when you say that all characters are vehicles for Buffy's story (or Angel's depending on which show it is). Buffy will grow by expanding her love and compassion to include Spike, even if he were soulless. Which, obviously, he isn't.

So I would be curious, especially with your zen vantage point, as to how you are defining "good" here, and whether or not you are privelging it in some way. Han Solo is selfishly motivated, but he does good regardless, without meaning to. Spike certainly has those moments, and even more he has moments where he intends good, even without a soul.

I don't think its accidental that Spike is at his most monstrous in some ways, killing and being an agent of the First, bleeding open the hellmouth, immediately upon receiving his soul. Because his soul is not an enobling one, like Angel's. Its different.

Anyways, the answer to the original question is Ray Charles. Ray Charles has soul.

[> [> [> [> [> Great post -- Sophist, 07:25:26 05/04/03 Sun

Though I assumed all along that the answer was Aretha Franklin. I'm always learning on this Board.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Ha! Agree with all. Aretha, Ray, and lets add Al Green! -- Rahael, 08:07:54 05/04/03 Sun

Great post manwitch. Agree completely.

[> [> [> Re: Who has a soul? -- Dannyblue, 06:50:33 05/03/03 Sat

I think the writers went out of their way to show that the Prio-Motu's motives were honorable. When Angel searched his apartment (which was very spartan, but clean) he found all sorts of religious stuff. Books. Sculptures. Candles. Insense. (The Prio seemed to lean towards the Eastern philosophies.) Something must've happened to change the Prio, make him different from the rest of his species. Maybe he started to feel guilt about killing, and probably wondered why he, among all of his kind, felt this way. He started searching for answers in religion, much like humans do. And, somewhere along the way, he took on the duty of protecting this pregnant woman and her baby, maybe in his own quest for redemption.

[> First, what is your definition of 'soul'? (always seems to be a difference of definition here) -- WickedBuffy ::wanna be on the same page you are::, 10:08:12 05/02/03 Fri

[> Could I get someone ELSE's soul? -- just wondering, 20:41:39 05/03/03 Sat on accident?

Or if I worked really hard at it?

Even if they weren't using it?

[> Re: Who has a soul? -- Stephen, 21:54:14 05/03/03 Sat

My thinking... there are occaisionally humans born without souls (I've Got You Under My Skin). Perhaps the opposite holds true for demons. Every so often, we get demons with souls.

What Caleb wields. What Buffy wields. -- WickedBuffy, 09:18:07 05/02/03 Fri

Right now, Buffy seems to be only wielding her physical strength. She wants to fight, she want the SITs to fight, she is almost solely focused on brute force as the way to beat the FE. FE has led her to fall back on that aspect of herself the most - giving Buffy an UberVamp to beat on, Bringers to pummel, a vision of thousands of demons getting ready to do war. Many previous posts have referred to her as leading an army (Scoobies and SITS), being the General - more methods that rely heavily on brute force. She refers to Willow as her "most powerful weapon". Buffy is acting as though she believes the only way to win is with fists. This tunnelvision seems to be becoming narrower and narrower. She sees it as the only option.

Though Caleb has shown himself to be physically stronger than Buffy, it doesn't seem to be his #1 focus. He doesn't flex his muscles or bare fangs, The Bringers are "his boys", not his army. Where Buffy grimaces in fierce determination as she marches in to fight, Caleb seems more nonchalant - as if this physical fighting were playground stuff and not really worth much to waste time thinking about.

Buffy is almost machinelike as she goes against FE and Caleb. Caleb guts for pleasure, it's a pleasant past-time.

Throwing Buffy across the room is just punctuation for his speeches.

Caleb reveres another power. The power of words. The power of truth. Words would be the vehicle he uses to wield that power, Truth. (I guess another way to put them in relationship to each other is to say that words are the swing of the sword, and the sword is truth.)

In Dirty Girls, Caleb brings up the power of words/truth several times during his speeches. When he plays with FE (FE morphed as beautiful girl admirer):

Caleb in wine cellar: "Truth is like the sword, isn't it girl, cuts deep. The words I use gotta power to 'em. Power now, they're not just words. They're truth."

...and then later, right before he play-guts the morph,

Caleb: "...our whole race can be so damnably weak... and that's why we seek the strength, the power."

FE/girl: "... they followed you willingly, you tricked them.

Caleb: "I only told them the truth."

With those points in mind and what Spike and Andrew heard at the monastery, would it be words/truth, that only Buffy can wield? And that's what angered Caleb so much, since that's what power is to him. Now, with that information, Caleb has to wield it indirectly, he has to control Buffy (or make her a follower) in order to use the power in its ultimate form.

WIth Buffy alienated from her entire support group now, she is even more vulnerable. Not just physically, which isn't Calebs goal anyway, but emotionally also. And Buffys slow decline in handling her emotions healthily/successfully isn't leaning towards a learning curve. If anything, the closer the apocalypse gets, the more she seems to fear her feelings. (Fear from lack of understanding or being able to accept them.) And she runs towards what The Watchers had always told her was her strongest weapon, her Slayer strength.

Buffy can't get a grip on her own truths or those of the people she cares for most. Caleb's power with words would be what could subdue/turn Buffy. It's a power Buffy has lost touch with, one that she isn't using. One that she doesn't even need to be a Slayer to use.

And since the truth can have so many different sides to it, Buffy would need help from a "pro" to wield it. And the resident pro now is Caleb. The very thing Buffy has come to fear and avoid, truth about herself and her world, could be the device that opens the Hellmouth.

[> SPOILERS ABOVE SPOILERS ABOVE!!! thru Empty Spaces -- WickedBuffy ()sorry! raced back home when I realized it!), 09:34:53 05/02/03 Fri

[> One wields terror and the other is just plain terrified. -- Druzz, 17:41:14 05/02/03 Fri

[> Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me. -- contumelious, 16:25:21 05/03/03 Sat

Physical fighting is what wins wars, not chatting. Saying Caleb thinks there is more power in words than fists makes no sense.
Or he would just tell Buffy the truths about herself and be done with it.

The promos always show Buffy carrying a large sword.
That is what she wields. That is what she will lop his sweet-talking head off with.

Don't see any parallels between Angel Show and Buffy Show, either.
Especially not regarding the power of words that Caleb keeps rambling on about .
Or the power of just one word, Jasmines name, that destroyed peace.

Con Q&A with James Marsters (only the vaguest of spoilers) -- Darby, 09:30:22 05/02/03 Fri

This is definitely worth a read - here.

Nothing substantive about the finale, but lots of interesting tidbits I've never seen him discuss before.

[> What a GREAT read! For those worried about spoilers... -- Rob, 09:47:57 05/02/03 Fri

...I have been staying completely spoiler-free this year, and this interview had nothing that set off my "Oh! No!" button. No plot spoilers. A little talk about the production of the final ep, but even that is vague and mostly focuses on how JM felt shooting the scenes, not the actual scenes themselves. So, I'd recommend reading it, or at the very least, copying and saving it for later.


[> Thanks, Darby...that was WONDERFUL! -- dub ;o), 10:31:00 05/02/03 Fri

[> Yes, thanks Darby! -- ponygirl, 11:02:18 05/02/03 Fri

I'm continually amazed at how articulate JM is in interviews. I really do hope that they get him to do some commentaries for the DVDs.

[> Thanks, Darby, this was really interesting -- Sarand, 11:26:28 05/02/03 Fri

And might I add, I would love to see JM do some theatre in New York.

[> [> If he ever does in the future... -- Rob, 12:23:43 05/02/03 Fri

...all of us in NY should get tickets together and go as a group. Wouldn't that be great?


[> [> [> Good idea, Rob! -- Sarand, 13:32:47 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> James Marsters doing Shakespeare in the (Central) Park..... -- cjl, 15:50:27 05/02/03 Fri

Yeah, it'd be great. But can you imagine the lines outside the Box Office?

[> [> [> James Marsters/Joss W. tag-team Shakespeare in the (Central) Park..... -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 18:41:29 05/02/03 Fri

Mr. Marsters idea about directing Joss in "Hamlet" is very intriguing. IIRC there were two Shakespearean greats who were in a major production; A would direct B one night, B directed A the next.

Do you think there'd be an audience for something like that with Joss & James?

[> [> [> [> 'Do you think there'd be an audience'?! -- cjl, 09:10:35 05/03/03 Sat

The line for the Delacorte Theater in Central Park would stretch to Yonkers.

[> Really hope he gets some good stuff to do next -- MsGiles, 13:23:14 05/02/03 Fri

[> So, um - what the heck's a stunt sock? -- Anneth, 16:00:15 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> Nekkid James/Spike's only non-nekkid area on set. -- Darby, 16:10:00 05/03/03 Sat

More on THE Story: Caleb (spoilers up to Empty Places) -- lunasea, 10:04:23 05/02/03 Fri

This is actually the reason I started the whole thing. With only 2 episodes of material and 3 more to go, I feel a bit premature in discussing this amazing villain. Actually going over the Catechism like I have has given me tremendous insight into what Caleb is and how he is used to tie all the arcs together to start the ultimate exclamation point on BtVS. I will discuss Caleb and then I will get to how faith relates to BtVS this season.

In doing this whole thing, I have been able to see exactly what of THE story Joss has been exploring, the parts that Christians can almost take for granted, but for angry atheist existentialists there are no answers. That doesn't make the questions go away. One of the most profound questions about faith was asked by Angel "Why can't we?" (Magic Bullet) The flip side is just as profound "Why can we?"

Faith is a theological virtue. It isn't like the human virtues which are acquired by human effort. Faith, hope and charity/love are placed there by God. There is no logical reason why we should believe in God or why we should hope or why we should love. We just do. I am sure that the angry atheists (and the not-so angry ones) would be more than happy to say how illogical religious faith is (please refrain from doing so, though). I could say the same thing about any philosophical belief. Theology doesn't have the monopoly on belief or faith.

Why should we be good? There is plenty in us that doesn't want to be good. It doesn't necessarily want to be evil. It just wants what it wants no matter what. It doesn't care if it hurts anyone to get those things. To actually be good we have to deprive ourselves. Being good is a burden. Why would we want to do that? There is no logical reason.

In the Catechism is placed there by God when he made us. It is written into our conscience. In the Buffyverse, it is also written into our conscience, our soul. In Christian theology, the soul is a bit more than this.

363. "In Sacred Scripture the term 'soul' often refers to human life or the entire human person.[Cf. Matthew 16:25-26 ; John 15:13 ; Acts 2:41 .] But 'soul' also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him,[Cf. Mathew 10:28 ; Matthew 26:38 ; John 12:27 ; 2 Maccabees 6 30 .] that by which he is most especially in God's image: 'soul' signifies the spiritual principle in man."

The spiritual aspect of the soul and afterlife is something that is Christian and not from the Buffyverse (though something of Buffy went to heaven). However, what the soul is isn't that different. The Catechism just really elaborates on this. Joss tries to downplay the soul, saying it is just a switch that points the moral compass to good. What points the moral compass to good is not something that should be downplayed as a plot device.

The soul is the reason that Man wants to be good. It is what instills in us the theological virtue of faith in goodness. We can reject it, just like we can reject the call of God. It constantly calls us to goodness, just like God calls us to communion. It is the spark of humanity that can always be reached unless someone is vamped. The only thing that being vamped removes is our soul. When Angel loses his soul, the Judge says he doesn't have any humanity left in him.

The Guide in "Intervention" (probably one of the most important episodes to understanding the philosophy behind the Buffyverse) in the way she talks says that our humanity is our ability to love. I don't want to get into the Spike debates. There are two types of love. There is the theological virtue that I will get into later. There is also the passion. The soul is required for the theological virtue. Vamps can have all the passions.

In Christianity, humans all have the potential to be good because of our souls, but we find it so hard to be. The theological virtues allow us to have the strength to do good. In the Buffyverse, humans all have the potential to be good because of our souls, but we find it so hard to be. What gives us that strength? That is the ultimate question for Buffy to answer. What gives us that strength is our real power.

We have seen two other slayers. Kendra season 2 didn't exercise her free will. She couldn't make choices. The only choice she made that went against her training was to not tell her Watcher about Angel. "Mm. Am not tellin' me Watcher about dat. It is too strange dat a Slayer loves a vampire." (What My Line part 2) She had faith in Buffy, a fellow Slayer, and couldn't reconcile that with her training. She decided to just ignore that part. Kendra is not powerful enough to face Dru. It is what makes us divine, our ability to reason and free will, that makes us powerful.

The other Slayer is Faith. Faith is complete and total faith in herself, but no love. Without that love, Faith turns evil. Faith isn't powerful enough not to fall to the dark side and Buffy is stronger than her. Buffy is more powerful than Faith. All three theological virtues are required to have the strength to be divine. That makes us powerful.

Now we have Caleb. What is he? What is left to deal with? As a man of the cloth, he is obviously a representation of faith. Back to the beginning. The Master also had a religious air about him. We have been dealing with faith for 6 seasons. What baddie will give Joss his final message about Buffy's power?

(unspoiled speculation follows)

Not all humans have souls. The Mayor was human at one point and got rid of his somewhere. Lilah has said she sold it, but that could just be facetious and not factual. It looked like Wesley was able to reach her a bit. Lindsey obviously had a soul, so it isn't a requirement of Wolfram and Hart that their top lawyers be soulless. Buffy's roommate in "Living Conditions" was sucking hers out. In "I've Got You Under My Skin" there is a little boy, Ryan, who for no known reason doesn't have a soul. What would happen to such a boy?

He would grow up to be Caleb. This person would be incapable of believing in good. He wouldn't have a moral compass, which would make him even more dangerous than a vampire, whose moral compass points to evil. He is above such concepts as good and evil. There is a lot of imagery in "Dirty Girls" that points to Caleb being like a vampire. Obviously the cross doesn't burn him, so he isn't one. He is like one in that he is lacking a soul.

Caleb has to have something wrong with his very nature. Buffy has killed 2 vampires, a true demon and a demon/man/machine hybrid in the finales. She couldn't kill Ben even in order to kill Glory. She was revolted by stabbing Faith, even though it would have saved Angel. Buffy doesn't kill humans because humans are redemable. Random's observation that Buffy is judgment is a very good. Buffy is the divine who gives out judgment. As long as someone is redeemable, she can't just damn them. That isn't her place. That is why Buffy gives humans over to human justice (even herself), no matter what.

If Caleb does lack a soul, all that does is make it so he can't have faith in good. What started this thread was someone saying that Caleb had lost his faith or that it had changed. I don't think either has happened. Even without a desire to do good at all, he still has other questions, questions we all have. Caleb answers those questions thinking goodness is a joke.

He is searching for THE story just as we all are. Just like a vampire, he is incapable of seeing what it means to be human since he doesn't have a soul. Instead all he sees is power, much like a vampire. I have given a lot about what THE story is, the story the Catechism explains and the story Joss has been writing. Imagine that story without the goodness or seeing goodness as a weakness.

That is Caleb. He is more than the difference between Faith and Buffy. Faith had humanity to her. Caleb is season 3 Faith kicked up a few notches. That is why she is also back this season. Faith at this point is at least acting from will to try and be what she considers good. I don't think she is quite acting from a place of love/charity yet. She is like Spike at the beginning of season 6 when he tells Dawn to be good because it is what Buffy would want. Now Faith is asking, WWAD (what would Angel do). She isn't quite there herself, yet (gotta leave something for a potential spin off). Faith hasn't accessed her own goodness for a while and it will take a while for her to be able to listen to that voice of God that we all have.

Why can we? We have a soul, a conscience, which if we listen to will tell us what is right. Faith mocked Buffy season 4 by saying "Because it is wrong." Now Buffy has to learn why we feel that way and what to use that for. Buffy told Wood in Dirty Girls, "I don't want to lead them into a war, Robin. War can't be the right thing." Her conscience is speaking up. Time for Buffy to learn she has to listen to it. It has never let her down before, as I will show by looking at the season finales and divine intervention.

Question on the First Evil -- bell456, 11:21:43 05/02/03 Fri

Ok this may be a question that has been answered before. If it has, point me in the right direction & I'll take it from there.

The First Evil is non corporeal & uses the image of someone dead as a vehicle to communicate, right? Is the FE able to use Buffy's image to communicate with Caleb because she's died previously, even though she is alive now?

It's been nagging at me & I know if there is an answer to my question, this is the place to find it.

[> Yup -- DL, 12:33:49 05/02/03 Fri

I think you're dead on. If I'm wrong, somebody please correct me.

[> Same reason that it can take the form of Spike and Dru... -- Rob, 12:56:35 05/02/03 Fri

They are both alive as vamps now, but died as humans.


[> [> And, in 'Bring on the Night', Giles said: -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:24:54 05/02/03 Fri

"It can take the form of anyone who has died."

The person doesn't have to actually BE dead, they just have to have died at some point.

[> [> [> My question is... -- M., 17:06:33 05/02/03 Fri

Has Buffy and the gang clued in on the fact that the first can take Buffy's form? To my recollection Spike is to only one who has seen The First as Buffy and though I assume he told Buffy all about it, I don't know that for a fact. Even if He did tell Buffy did she share this with anyone else in the Scooby gang? The point is that The First may still be able to deceive the poor S.I.T.s by appearing as someone they know to be alive.

[> [> [> I'd like to see it morph into Angel on BtVS. Soon. -- WickedBuffy ::wondering what hairstyle FE will choose::, 17:33:25 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Me Too!!! -- lunasea, 18:12:03 05/02/03 Fri

And I want Buffy to realize it isn't Angel because she can't feel him. Not physically touch him, but feel him inside, like she did in "Pangs."

[> [> [> [> Please please not the bad 70's hair!!!! (NT) -- bell456, 19:20:42 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> And STILL I wonder... -- V, 20:38:36 05/03/03 Sat

Why oh why don't they use the First Evil Detection Device... a.k.a. A Handshake.

They're all so g-damn afraid of touching each other.

never before so desiring to yell at her TV

[> [> [> [> I thought it was 'a poke'? (quicker and less formal) -- WickedBuffy, 21:31:59 05/03/03 Sat

Super Evil Mutiny (part I) -- Buanandanza, 15:56:23 05/02/03 Fri

Honorificus: To get back to the subject: because of my sister's upcoming (or should I say incoming?) nuptial rites and the fact that my male littermate is transporting in tomorrow, I will have no time to give this heart-warming, feel-good episode the attention it deserves. Given the theme of the episode, however, I must add that anyone who attempts to mutiny and jump aboard some other demon's Attempting-To-Be-Evil Review will find themselves missing their entrails in short order.

So basically you're saying, "I'm not going to be around to stop a mutiny but please, no coup's while I'm gone"? That's just asking for trouble -- in fact, you've made the invitation for a takeover so inviting, I almost expect a trap...

Ah, mutiny! You've got to love it when the good guys ignore the "big picture" to focus on petty personal squabbles. Reminds me of the good old days - back in Dead Man's Party when the returning Slayer, devastated by her personal loss, is surrounded and attacked by her closest friends. Or Revelations, when the gang got together a lynch party to discuss Buffy's decision to help out Angel. Of course, there's also the Yoko Factor, when Buffy's watcher and henchmen let their insecurities turn them against Buffy - assisted by Spike, but as he pointed out, not really his fault any more the breakup of the Beatles was Yoko's fault. Additionally, there are many minor incidents, in episodes like Fear, Itself, or Selfless where Buffy's friends deliberately place themselves at odds with her. However, disloyal and untrustworthy as the Scoobies have been, nothing compares to the full scale mutiny launched by the Potentials and aided and abetted by Giles, Willow, Anya, Wood, Dawn and Xander.

But how did it get to this point? How is it that a group of Potentials led a successful coup d'etat against Generalisima Buffy, Ruthless Dictator of Sunnydale? And why didn't a single lieutenant support her? This is, after all, the woman they raised from the dead last season because they didn't know what to do without her.

The coup gives lie to the supposition that Buffy has been a dictator (in spite of Xander's Sergeant Schultz impersonation during the "everybody sucks but me speech). During the final throes of the rebellion, she begged her attackers not to continue, to let her save them. In fact, for all her talk about power and the willingness to use it, Buffy's behavior this season has been a case study in how not to be a dictator.

Don't Quit Your Day Job

Actually, being a dictator is your day job. Your night job, too. Buffy made a critical error when she continued to work after becoming de facto general. Eight hours a day at work, several more for her nightly patrols, a couple of more hours eaten up in trivial things like eating and bathing. Not much time left to watch the peons. And while she was away, Kennedy was fomenting discord. Had she been on hand, instead of slaving away to feed the minions, she could have ended the rebellion in its infancy with a few public executions of the leading conspirators - or severe punishment, perhaps a caning, if she's squeamish. Not ideal, since the punished is still around to grumble and has an added reason for causing trouble, but it is better than nothing as potential allies of the rebel will be cowed by the threat of certain punishment. Of course, she could have set spies to watch them in her absence, an oversight that has cost her dearly. Alternately, she might have expected her loyal lieutenants to watch over the masses for her.

However, there are some problems with her officers - Xander, ostensibly the most loyal member of her inner circle and her self-appointed propagandist, also has a day job. There's plenty of time to stir things up in his absence. When he is around, the slayer is as well, so he's redundant. The conspirators will take pains to hide their plans from Buffy and that should be sufficient to keep them hidden from Xander as well.

Giles is the best candidate for keeping the troops in order - he has all that watcher training to impart - to forge the girls into mindless automata eager to do the WC's bidding. And the Cruciamentum mentality to weed out the ones that are a bit too recalcitrant or independent. But Giles has also not been around the house - he's been globetrotting. When he is there, he's demonstrated that he has his own agenda, somewhat in opposition to that of the slayer's. As he's shown, he's more likely to encourage a rebellion to use for his own purposes than to report it. Partly this is Buffy's fault. When she discovered his treachery in setting up Spike, she ought to have at least exiled him. Poor Spike gets the short end of the double standard here - had Giles and Wood tried to kill any of Buffy's other supporters, he would be living with Wood about now. Buffy's mistake cost her her only potential supporters during the mutiny -- Andrew and Spike, conveniently out of the way thanks to Giles.

Neither Dawn nor Andrew has any authority over the Potentials - Buffy's fault, actually. She cut two loyal minions out of the command structure without even considering the consequences, so sure she was of the loyalty of her officers.

Which leaves Willow and Anya to control the mutinous tendencies of the troops. Except Willow is sleeping with the head agitator. She also blames Buffy for Xander's injury and disproves of Buffy's refusal to spend time at his bedside after the accident. She allows her personal issues to interfere with her judgment. Anya, of course, has her own issues with Buffy. Sword through the chest issues. Buffy messed up with Anya just as she did with Giles - she kept the ex-demon around in spite of Anya's grievances. Anya strikes when the opportunity presents itself - it is clear from earlier episodes (when she says, in confidence to Willow and Xander, that Dawn has bought herself a short life and brutal death) that she does not believe Buffy is luckier than the others; rather, that Buffy is cursed. However, her comments feed into Willow's own jealousy about always being the sidekick and help any wavering Potentials choose the side of the rebellion.

A real dictator would not be working to support the minions in any case; she'd be exacting tribute. Xander has a job, Anya has a successful Internet business, Giles has his savings, Willow must have some marketable skill - if not, she can hack into the WC's funds and transfer some cash (that rightfully belongs to the slayer, after all) into Buffy's account. Also, all those girls could be kept occupied with part time jobs around town (DMP is always hiring and Buffy knows the manager) and can bring their paychecks to Buffy. Likewise with Andrew and Dawn. Cults do it all the time. There's no reason for the Dictator to be working.

Patrols. Well, I can understand why Buffy would long for the hunt and the kill, but she can't afford to spend so much time away from her power base with the leadership issues she has. She should send minions out to do the patrols - if need be, they can bring back live demons for Buffy to kill at her leisure. Additionally, grumbling subordinates (like Kennedy) could be sent on patrols. First, it gets them out of the house and away from the other subordinates, so reduces the number of clandestine meetings. Next, there's always the chance, even on the most routine patrol, that they won't come back (as Giles was well aware when he sent Spike and Andrew on their mission). Finally, Kennedy could be used to punish Willow's disloyalty - Willow fights with Buffy, Kennedy draws the dangerous mission. If she protests, Buffy can ask Willow to choose the Potential to go in Kennedy's place. If Willow refuses, she shares the blame for any damage to Kennedy, if she picks a substitute, she takes all the blame for any mishap that the less experienced Potential gets into. Share the burdens of command with the underlings, and the taste of Power may not seem quite so sweet.

[> Re: Super Evil Mutiny (part I) -- Buenandanza, 15:57:41 05/02/03 Fri

Strongman's Best Friend

Poor Buffy. Her best plan ever. Well organized, well executed. The plan even worked - she ran into more trouble than she anticipated, but her reserves got her out. So why is she blamed for events beyond her control? Simple - she planned, organized and led the raid. She even did recon. No one else to blame. Ideally, Buffy should have stayed behind to protect the house in case the trap was really a diversion (like Angelus's plan, when he called Buffy out while Dru raided the library) and put someone else in charge. That way, if anything goes wrong, it's not the plan that's at fault it's the officer in charge who's the scapegoat.

A careless dictator might think that putting a potentially rebellious subordinate in charge might be a good idea - if you win, great; if not, one less mutineer to worry about. Here, the danger is in success - if the problem subordinate wins, she gets the credit, so she is strengthened at your expense. In fact, your plan makes it easier for her to overthrow you later. It would be better to put the rebels in charge of recon, a dangerous but inglorious mission. If they get killed, it's their own fault - their orders were to avoid contact. In fact, by getting themselves into trouble, they've betrayed the whole operation - whatever element of surprise there was is now lost. If the succeed, no big deal. It's just recon - a monkey could do it. The actual raid, however, should be lead by an unambitious or unpopular, but loyal, minion. If unpopular, he should be expendable so you can execute him for failure, should the need arise. Xander or Spike would have been good choices. Willow, Faith or Kennedy would not. While Faith may not be ambitious, she's still a good candidate for command - Xander cannot replace the slayer, no matter how many victories he has.

Always remember that in a success, the plan is what was important; in failure, it was the execution.

Is it Better to be Feared, or Held in Contempt?

Buffy's democratic tendencies have created problems for her. She has striven to make friends feel as though they are very bit as important as she is, that they are equals among equals. She even extended her egalitarian tendencies to the first Potentials, taking Kennedy, Molly, Vi and Amanda on field trips and allowing them to mock her at their leisure. Naturally enough, they don't respect the Slayer. They certainly don't fear her. The only Scooby who ever had real respect for the Slayer was Oz. As Buffy got caught up in her duties, she had less time to spend socializing with the Potentials - these first select few had another reason to grumble: Buffy is ignoring them. At first, they were the center of her universe, now she's too busy for them. They pass their observations on to the new recruits.

Buffy had a couple of good opportunities to reverse this perception of her - Kennedy provided them. Instead, Buffy watched idly as Kennedy insinuated herself into the command structure instead of packing the upstart off to bed for her presumption. Next, there was Kennedy's "maggot" speech and the consequences. Buffy doesn't speak to the Potential like that - Kennedy is making Buffy hated by proxy, they assume Kennedy has Buffy's support. After the suicide, it was pretty clear that Kennedy's comment was a contributing factor - what better time for a show of strength? Send Kennedy out to dig the grave so the other Potentials know who is responsible. Also, during the "everybody sucks but me" speech, Buffy allows Kennedy free speech, as if Kennedy was an equal or had in some way earned the right to talk to Buffy in such a manner. She should have been shut up. Even as late as the mutiny, Buffy had a chance to restore order. A show of strength is all it would have taken to cause the mutineers to back down - a few executions, perhaps. Line the Potentials and her lieutenants up against the wall and select the scapegoats (it would give new meaning to Dawn's vision of FE/Joyce's claim that Buffy wouldn't pick her).

So... Who's in Charge?

Not Faith anyway. Why would the Scoobies, who've rejected Buffy and have issues with Faith, follow Faith at all? Clearly, they believe that Faith isn't in charge. There's an oligarchy now - Giles, Willow/Kennedy, Wood. Xander is useless, too busy moping over his eye sockets being half empty (Buffy should just finish the job Caleb started - give him something to sulk about) to be useful. Wood has already injured his opportunity to manipulate Faith - five seconds after meeting her, he tried to psychoanalyze her and put her on her guard. Faith isn't likely to listen to Willow, particularly when she realizes how much influence Kennedy has over Willow. Giles has potential - Faith was taken by her last watcher and, for whatever reason, deferred to Wesley in LA, even going along with the drug-me-and-feed-me to Angelus plan. Giles has the best shot at controlling Faith. He may emerge as the true leader, or he may use the oligarchy for his own ends. Eventually, though, Faith will catch on, and they'll have to have another coup. Hopefully, there's enough of a Generalisima in Faith that she'll make a better showing than did politically inept Buffy.

[> [> How insidious! Machiavelli could not have said it better! -- Direwolf, 17:00:44 05/02/03 Fri

However, you're ignoring the second most vocal of the mutineers: Rona. She has been rebellious just as much as Kennedy has, and from Day One of her stay in Sunnydale has balked at having to fight and obey Buffy. She was noticed less than Kennedy because, I suspect, of her "I-never-asked-to-be-here-and-I-know-Jacksquat-about-Slayers" attitude, plus her injury sustained in the fight with Caleb got her off easy. However, a quick analysis would show that she has been working with Kennedy to subvert the Slayer from the beginning: when Kennedy was behaving herself, Rona would lash out; when Rona wasn't around, Kennedy would have a pointed comment to throw in, and vice versa. Kennedy has done most of the actual confrontations, true. But as she is Willow's lover it is only natural. Rona is below her on the heirarchy, and has been working the lower ranks of the common Potentials. Also, let's remember that the actual idea to replace Buffy with Faith came from Rona herself. No doubt, one of them is using the other, or else they work in partnership for a common goal.

[> [> [> Regarding Rona -- Buenandanza, 05:04:54 05/03/03 Sat

"However, you're ignoring the second most vocal of the mutineers: Rona. She has been rebellious just as much as Kennedy has, and from Day One of her stay in Sunnydale has balked at having to fight and obey Buffy."

I ignored Rona because I see her as more of a follower than a leader. When Rona speaks out, she is merely articulating the feelings of the majority. She speaks in the plural most of the time -- "we" or "us". She's never had an original thought pass through her head. When all the Potentials are afraid, Rona speaks out. She has the majority behind her. Likewise, at the end of the mutiny, when she says "Ding, dong, the witch is dead" she believes she is expressing the view of the majority (and probably is) -- note, however, how quickly Dawn (who ranks somewhere between Andrew and Miss Kitty Fantastico in the Summer's hierarchy) is able to shut her up. With the majority backing her, she is outspoken; if she's the least bit unsure of the others, she doesn't have anything to contribute.

"However, a quick analysis would show that she has been working with Kennedy to subvert the Slayer from the beginning: when Kennedy was behaving herself, Rona would lash out; when Rona wasn't around, Kennedy would have a pointed comment to throw in, and vice versa. Kennedy has done most of the actual confrontations, true."

Kennedy's first comments to Rona are rather caustic - she puts the new recruit in her place, lets her know exactly where she stands in the social order. Yet Rona ends up following Kennedy. Similarly, in spite of Rona's reluctance to have anything to do with slaying, Buffy trained her into one of her best Potential warriors early on. Rona is a born follower -- just give her her orders, she may grumble, but she'll obey. Had Buffy been prescient, she could have used Rona to avert the mutiny by making Rona her lieutenant among the Potentials. Rona would have been as loyal to Buffy as she has been to Kennedy had Buffy just asserted herself (and choosing a leader would have kept Kennedy from presuming too much).

"Rona is below her on the hierarchy, and has been working the lower ranks of the common Potentials. Also, let's remember that the actual idea to replace Buffy with Faith came from Rona herself. No doubt, one of them is using the other, or else they work in partnership for a common goal."

Again, I just see Rona as parroting the majority position. No doubt the other Potentials had previously wondered why Faith wasn't their leader, given their discontent with Buffy. Rona is the designated spokesperson for ideas that would be unpopular with Buffy -- this is an untenable position for her. A smarter person would let someone else speak out and wait for the results to publicly take a side. There is no partnership between Kennedy and Rona -- unless you consider the Master/Minion relationship a "partnership".

[> [> !moobaK (the evil reflection of Kaboom!), Buenandanza. -- Saguaro Stalker, 17:24:56 05/02/03 Fri

Buffy was just trying to use Cruciamentum via Caleb again and everybody gets upset. Where do these people think Buffy's supposed to get the money to feed all these moochers-in-training? Anya's boring talk about sex with Xander is only going to drive so many of them away. At least Faith can demonstrate the story of how Buffy stabbed her on a few of the princesses to show them how much fun it is to be a slayer. Maybe then, the survivors will take Generalissimo Buffy back.

CW has been in his collection of reference books for the criminally geeky again. He asked me to advise everyone that it is Bwanandanza, not Buanandanza that means "That oaf Tarzan tracked in elephant poop, again" in Slobhili. He needs to get a life!

[> [> [> 'Criminally geeky'... I'm stealing this! -- Masq, 17:37:23 05/02/03 Fri

Who is now wearing her geek mantle with pride

[> [> [> Re: !moobaK -- Isn't that Klingon? -- E.C., 19:18:18 05/02/03 Fri

my favorite quote from 'peace out'-- -- anom, 17:00:31 05/02/03 Fri

--even more than the GalaxyQuest one--was Fred's "Garden's empty."

Wow. Volumes packed into 2 words. Yup, the human race has left the Garden. No return to Paradise lost. But I'm also reminded of the end of Candide: "We must all go work in the garden" (which, even though I recognized the "best of all possible worlds" quote, I didn't think of till I read Arethusa's post mentioning it). Kinda sums up the whole thing, from the loss of the perfect Garden to the ordinary work needed to live in the earthly one.

[> Re: my favorite quote from 'peace out'-- -- MaeveRigan, 21:14:43 05/02/03 Fri

Nice catch! "Peace Out" is even more packed than I thought--must watch it again. Probably not for the last time. Thanks!

[> [> should've said 'line' rather than 'quote' -- anom, 21:45:53 05/03/03 Sat

As far as I know, "Garden's empty" doesn't come from anywhere else (but if anyone knows otherwise, I'd love to know!).

And if Rob ever gets around to this one, it'll be rich w/annotations! Quotes & references from all over the place, from Night of the Comet to Candide to GalaxyQuest to, of all things, Sunset Boulevard. And then there's the juicy philosophical goodness. And the references to past eps of both shows. And the great acting. And the fantastic fight choreography between Angel & the Keeper. Something for everyone. Makes me glad there's also Masq's analysis to look forward to, & OnM's review...makes me glad I found this board!

An Experimental Play in [unknown] acts, or, Behind the Scenes at ATPo -- LadyStarlight, 19:50:22 05/02/03 Fri

For your entertainment until the next new Buffy, Random & LadyS (with tongues firmly in each other's cheeks) present "Behind the Scenes at the ATPo Board" -- here. Scroll down to the very first entry to start with (otherwise this really won't make any sense) -- it's vaguely poetical and besides, we ripped off bad can we be?

LittleBit gets to act out the various slashes and hets with Random or LadyS (depending on the type.) This is an ongoing sort of thing - so wait your turn! Everybody gets to be a star! Unless you're nice to us...and then maybe we'll let you off the hook. Updates posted when we feel like it -- or when we recover from getting beat up in chat.

"A sharp, satirical look at life behind the popular posting board..."
The NY Times Film Review

"Hilariously written scenes ... show the truth behind the philosophy..."
People Magazine

"Who knew philosophy could be this entertaining?"
The Globe & Mail

[> Can I say these are really good? -- Cactus Watcher, 20:38:51 05/02/03 Fri

Or will that make me a party in the libel suits?

[> ROFLMAO! Can I please, please be given the title of 'Rah-Rah Evil'? -- Rob, 20:41:09 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> And oh, yeah, I'm really offended! Harumph! -- Rob (Do I sound convincing? ;o) ), 20:42:10 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> By the power -- not that I have any -- vested in me by LadyS., I dub thee the 'Rah-Rah Evil' -- Random, 20:47:02 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> I don't know, to me that sounds like Rahael and her evil clone -- ponygoyle, 09:14:28 05/04/03 Sun

but I will gladly hail Rah-Rah Evil Rob! May your pom-poms never waver!

[> [> [> [> [> Nah, Rah's evilness goes by the handle of Azrahael. -- deeva, 11:56:25 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Your Super-Cheeful Alter-Ego? -- HonorH (afraid, very afraid), 08:22:20 05/03/03 Sat

[> Okay, who put the camera in my apartment? -- HonorH (fuming), 22:59:04 05/02/03 Fri

Honestly, who did it? There's no way you came up with something that scarily accurate on your own. I'm gonna have to start watching you bunch more carefully from now on.

Oh, dry up. It's not like anyone's really interested, anyway.

You dry up. Bad enough I have to share my space with you--

You call that hovel you live in a space?

--and bad enough that your stupid evil paraphernalia "mysteriously" keeps turning up whenever I have guests--

Come on. If your so-called "friends" can't handle a blood chalice or the occasional severed head, they're far too sensitive. I don't want my alter-ego involved with people like that.

--but now, to finish my rant, our domestic life has been revealed for the world to read! You're not the slightest bit concerned about this?

Everybody already knows you're a total square, SuperVirgin. Granted, I am a little embarrassed at how completely oatmeal you are--and for the record, I thought they actually made you more interesting--but it's something I've learned to live with.

Aren't you the hero.

Considering I have to live with that peachy sweater set you're wearing right now? Yeah!

You have no taste unless it involves leather and copious amounts of cleavage. Besides, we've wandered from the point.

You had one?

Know what? I'm calling it a night. My sister's wedding is tomorrow, and I'm tired.

Hair appointment tomorrow! Can I call the style?

Not on your unlife. We're logging off now.


'Night, folks.

[> [> I think it was Honorificus... -- *whistling innocently*, 07:40:43 05/03/03 Sat

[> 'Thank you, Lady Starlight!'--Variety -- luna, 07:48:49 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> Oh, Random's in this up to his ears -- let's not forget that. ;) -- LadyStarlight, 08:31:50 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> Don't forget, but do forgive, if you'd be so kind...and don' forget Bit -- Random, 11:31:04 05/03/03 Sat

[> 'Tongues in each other's cheeks' -- Masq, 08:43:17 05/03/03 Sat

Sounds like fun was had by all!

[> WOW! That was a refreshing breath of ummm... something! -- WickedBuffy (it was hilarious!), 15:28:37 05/03/03 Sat

Why not just sell the whole idea, with your play as the prospectus, as a reality TV show to FOX?

[> Yay! These are cool. -- deeva, 15:42:53 05/03/03 Sat

Sadly, I've been staying away from the board because RL is just overwhelming now. This really makes me want to swing by more often to check out the progress of it. Good job!

[> Many an LOL was had by all. -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:28:30 05/03/03 Sat

Quite an excellent bit of sladerous humor, good sirs/mams. Might I say I was Rolling on the Floor, Laughing My Ass Off, as the expression goes

[> LOL!!!!!!! -- Jacki, 20:08:40 05/03/03 Sat

That was hysterical! Keep them coming!

::goes back into lurker and chatter mode after the semi annual post::

[> These are really eye-openers, guys...who knew? -- LittleBit [counting how many 'lawn gnomes' are left], 20:16:24 05/03/03 Sat

[> Great stuff about the truth of the behind the scenes scene at ATPO. Must read -- fidhle, 21:35:29 05/03/03 Sat

[> Am I the only one who wants to see a Masq/Rufus combo? -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:09:22 05/04/03 Sun

The Spoiler Virgin and the Trollop Queen.

*Insanely bad opera voice*


[> [> My eyes! My eyes!! AAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!!! -- dub ;o), 08:43:10 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> Hope that's just temporary...wouldn't want you to be unable to read the one w/ you in it, heheh -- Random, grinning evilly, 08:55:52 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> My eye! My eye!!! AAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!!! -- Xander ;o), 19:55:33 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Whisper sweet AtS season 5 spoilers in my ear, baby! -- Masq, 09:43:05 05/04/03 Sun

[> 'An invaluable look at the people behind the posts.' -- Arethusa, 12:30:13 05/04/03 Sun

The drama, the pathos, the fashion advice....I'll never look at the board the same way.

"I laughed until I stopped." Monty Python

ATPoBtVS&AtS song parody - absolutely, positvely, no spoilers -- Jay, 23:47:14 05/02/03 Fri

As some of you might remember, every once in a while I'll get a song stuck in my head, have a little bout with insomnia, and have a spot of inspiration. Which, for the second time now, results in a song parody. First Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi became Bad Spoilers. Well I've had another song in my head for about a week now, and finally worked it into something that I hope everyone will enjoy.

The subject is the chat room that I personally haven't been in months. So, you chat regulars, please forgive me if I used the main board names instead of yours. The only research I do for song parodies is to try to spell it correctly and do my best to get the new words match to the music. I'll admit the last part is a stretch in places, but I am finally at peace with it. I'm just singing to my monitor, but I think I sound pretty good. I must be drunk.

The music is set to Cream's (Eric Clapton) White Room. The chorus remains in falsetto, and you have to fit more syllables into the final line, but there is more than enough time to fit it in. Oh, the original lyrics really didn't make a lot of sense to me, so please don't hold it against me if these don't all the way through. Without further adieu, the ATPoBtVS&AtS Band is here to play Chat Room.

Chat Room

In the chat room
With fast modems
Near the big board
Log on quickly
No more lurking
Tired posters
Chatter lively
Who cares typos
Kindly Scoobies
Don't start leaving
My obsession

I'll wait in this place
Til the sun starts to shine
Wait in this place
Where we chat all things Angel and BUFFY

Here comes Dedalus
Watch him type swift
Little Bit shows
Darby steps in
Such a demon
We talked into
such a Rob time
It's a party
As I logged out
Felt my own chat
Just beginning

I'll wait in the queue
While the words fly on past
Lies or the truth
Where we chat all things Angel and BUFFY

In the chat room
She is Rufus
With her hard drive
Masq is laughing
Finn Mac Cool too
Shadowcat then
Kicks it old school
OnM peeks in
Many more here
But must mention

I'll sleep in this place
With the fun loving crowd
Life on the net
Where we chat all things Angel and BUFFY

1:30 Instrumental

[> Re: ATPoBtVS&AtS song parody - absolutely, positvely, no spoilers -- fleur-de-lis, 07:40:37 05/03/03 Sat

glad I'm not the only one who sets B/A to rock tunes.....(NT)

[> Nice attempt - try Justin T next time -- MagicBone, 23:00:42 05/03/03 Sat

[> Jack Bruce rules! -- d'Herblay, 15:39:52 05/04/03 Sun

JBone rules too.

Heavy, man, heavy.

Empty Places and Hell Dimension -- luvthistle1( feel free to e-mail me), 03:00:52 05/03/03 Sat

First I want to point out, I understand why the scoobies did not want to go back into battle, but I felt kicking Buffy out of her own house, was way too harsh, regardless of the reason. they are ,after all guest in "HER" home. Her leaving her own home should have never been a option. she was being nice by leaving.

But my biggest problem it the way they handle it. Xander once said, when our Friend needs help, we help them. no one really tried to discuss it with her, or come up with a plan. That seem a little out of character. Never in all the 7 years of this show have the Scoobies been totally unwilling to figure something out in the crunch..Together. And this is the crunch time people . So why the behavior change? (note: in the past 7 years, this was the first time Xander had ever been seriously hurt. i think that's pretty good track record, considering he normally would have been dead by now.)

They thought it was too, dangerous. I'm ok with that, but what about Buffy?? Did they care about what happen to her? if they thought she was being reckless, why didn't the try to help her, or reason with her or suggest a plan? or more importantly beg her to stay? after all they where the ones who couldn't live without her, that they had to pull her out of heaven. how would they feel, if she had died...Again.

Didn't it seem like Giles was trying to stir up trouble, when he told them Buffy didn't trust them. When was the last time,Giles cleaned his glasses?( also, when was the last time we seen spike drink blood?

I think when Buffy return to the house after her fight with Caleb, that she might have return to another "dimension" When she fought Caleb, it was day time, but when she return it was night. if she had been gone that long, wouldn't the scoobies had been concern. She visit Xander in the hospital, before going to the school,yet "he" was at Her home when she return. I think,Caleb went there to send her to a" alternate dimension". when Buffy sleep, she falls into another world. When Willow did "the spell" to bring Buffy back to life, and the "urn" broke, it could have cause Buffy to be stuck in two dimensions. which could also cause the first evil to be able to return. in selfless",( where we also see two Buffy) spike scream at the wall "you can scream montresor all you like ,pet" . like something was stuck in the walls. suppose that could mean ,"dimension walls". So, while Buffy return to her home, she didn't find her same sweet friends that follow her blindly for 7 years. she was home,it just wasn't her home,or her dimension. The harden slayer Buffy who dress in black, and wanted to kill Anya. in Selfless is actually in the real Buffy's dimension .it would also explain why the council haven't heard from Giles ( in" Never leave me they told Buffy they haven' t heard from him), and why Principal Wood has no records prior to his arrival in "sunnydale". Principal wood might not be from Buffy's dimension. Giles might had really died in Buffy's dimension and the first evil might had brought the other Giles into Buffy's. I also think Spike might had died in one dimension., but is able to live in both. which could also explain why the scoobies actually never directly talk to him on some occasion. If would fit into why there are two script for the finale. plus make sense as to how did Xander get out of the hospital so fast. I believe we might be seeing two dimension, because, there has been lot of reference to "walls changing".

1. The school basement ( it like a maze, with the walls moving")
2.Spike talking to the wall in "beneath you
3. Dawn, made a hole in the wall, before her visit from
Joyce/first evil, in "CWDP".

NOTE:Just because something appear nice and Glowy do not mean they are good. Remember , "Jasmine" from Angel

If we are seeing a story told, in two different dimension, it would explain for a lot of things.

the problem with the slayer line. the dimension is still open and allow the first evil to return.

It would explain, why Anya didn't remember doing vengeance against the "Fret boys" , if the other VD Anya from the other dimension did it.

It would also explain why D'Hoffryn kill Hallie in one dimension, and send other to try and kill Anya, in another.

It would explain Wood. if he was from another dimension.( note: Wood was the only one to turn into a demon , because of the seal. Xander Buffy and Andrew all step on or was around the seal without changing.

it also would explain why there seem to be two script of the finale. floating around. perhaps they both are right.

The only other option is that Spike is" really dead", and what Buffy see is a "illusion" of him (which the other don't see)(which would explain how he was able to go in and out in "Help" without setting off the trap) and everyone thinks she is crazy. therefore,Giles trying to kill Spike would be seen as him trying to help Buffy. It would explain for, why the sits calls her crazy. which would mean we will probably get the "normal again"ending after all.

[> All things green and glowy....spoilers for Buffy and Angel -- Rufus, 03:43:15 05/03/03 Sat

I've been surprised that not many people took note of Jasmine emitting a green glow. But Dawn is human...the monk said with all the bitching about not wanting a Dawn spin off I fear that her origin and potential just may never get air time.

[> [> references to Dawn -- luvthistle1, 04:07:21 05/03/03 Sat

...still being the "key" were made in "Potential, and "Storyteller". so there is a chance she is still the key. I was talking about glowy Joyce in "CWDP". it might have been Joyce, or somethin manifestations by the first.

[> Re: Empty Places and Hell Dimension -- fleur-de-lis, 07:37:24 05/03/03 Sat

Wow! had not thought of it that way...thanks for a truly interesting take on the subject...will have to give that one some serious thought....


Aren't we are all entitled to our own opinions? -- Angelina, 05:37:48 05/03/03 Sat

"-- Screaming at me or anybody will accomplish little else except to annoy the hell out of us and obtund us to you or your viewpoint. celticross wasn't attacking Buffy, just opining that perhaps there are more complex issues than "Buffy is right, everyone else is wrong." Try giving the other posters a break."...posted by Random.

The people who post on this board are dedicated Buffy watchers. I am taking the liberty to say that I feel most of the people here at this particular board "get" the show. Most people, even some who watch regularly, do not "get it." I think all of us at one point have experienced the look of "this girl/guy is nuts" when we have tried to explain our devotion to Buffy. That is why I come here. I have a great deal of respect for the people and opinions on this board. It is the most intellectual and stimulating Buffy conversation on the net. Perhaps, I get a bit hot under the collar when I am defending my favorite TV character of all times. But now that the show is ending, I want Buffy to have the legacy she deserves as a mythical hero. And she is a hero, of the galactic kind. I also do not believe that at this point in time, I have to give reasons why I feel that she is a true hero. The reasons are all there on film. Buffy is a hero, a TV icon, and she has earned it. That is all I am trying to say. I didn't mean to criticize anyone, and I am very sorry if some of you took it that way. Also, I don't think it is very nice to come off so harshly to someone on this board who is just offering their own honest opinion. And, just an aside, how does one "scream" in an email? I am sorry if I offended anyone on the board. It certainly was not my intention.

[> Writing in all caps is yelling -- nt, 05:55:10 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> writing in no caps is whispering shhhhh -- WickedBuffy, 16:18:27 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> trying to decide between... -- anom, 23:31:21 05/03/03 Sat

Jerry Lewis' "Dun't hol-la!" & Jon Lovitz (as Annoying Man)'s suddenly mellifluous final "You don't have to yell."

[> Re: Aren't we are all entitled to our own opinions? -- CW, 06:21:52 05/03/03 Sat

I was told after many months here that it was really aggravating some people that I was using all caps for emphasis. Unfortunately, some people like the person replying above think everyone is a wiz at the Internet and expect everyone to know all the tricks. It was unfortunate both because they were misintrepreting what I was saying and because I couldn't understand why. Angelina, click on the FAQ button and teach yourself how to use italics and bold. it's very easy, and then you'll find you won't get so many snappish replies to your honest opinions.

[> [> Re: Thank you CW - As always, a truely gentle person - our own opinions? -- Angelina, 06:38:41 05/03/03 Sat

You are so nice for sharing that with me. I don't feel as bad now. I will take your advice and learn how to use the proper formatting. I promise to "keep my voice down."

[> [> uppercase/lowercase nonsense -- gds, 07:53:52 05/03/03 Sat

I have been very annoyed by this NONSENSE about lowercase snobbishness. These days I can and do mostly use lowercase, but those who get offended by uppercase show their own ignorance. I started programming computers in the 1960s. I never even saw equipment which could handle lowercase until about 1980. In fact one of my first dealings with lowercase was to write a program that would convert all lowercase to uppercase because our printer couldn't print lowercase, and people were so unthinking as to send us files that contained lowercase. I suspect that there are to this day programming that MUST be done in uppercase. I have NEVER seen anyone use lowercase JCL. In fact when mainframe programmers program today, many do it with cap locks on. I also bet there is still uppercase only equipment in use. I personally refer to write text in lowercase because that allows me to use uppercase as an easy way to denote emphasis, but to get all upset about uppercase is itself inconsiderate.

[> [> [> Re: uppercase/lowercase nonsense -- Corwin of Amber, 08:35:28 05/03/03 Sat

The uppercase=shouting thing got started on usenet I believe. It had been in place for several years when I was working in a college computer lab (late 80's, early 90's). There was no other way to emphasize something at the time, and it just carried over a fact of netiquette. When in Rome.

[> [> [> Learning to listen -- luna, 21:50:04 05/03/03 Sat

Agree. Also, when I first got email at work in 1988? or so, we were required to use uppercase only--who knows why. But I still occasionally get mail from people who never got over that first training. I can't assume they're yelling. To me, this is like learning to understand people who speak a "dialect" different from your own. There's nothing intrinsically good or bad about having the caps lock on or off,just as there's no moral weight in r's that are rolled vs. those that are not (to say nothing of those that don't exist)!

[> [> All uppercase (esp. w/ few line breaks) is hard to read. Seen as 'rude' regardless of content. (NT) -- not the poster of the original remarks, 08:30:49 05/03/03 Sat

AH interview from US FHM- BTVS cast found out SMG quit from EW article. -- Magic, 08:05:21 05/03/03 Sat

Can you believe that? It seems Alyson and the rest of the cast found out that Sarah called it quits from reading the Entertainment Weekly

FHM:How did the first conversation with [SMG] go after you found out she was putting a fork in Buffy?
AH: It wasn't that big of a surprise, but finding out from a magazine -- that ****ed. I'm really upset that that's the way the cast and crew found out they would be unemployed.
FHM: Did Sarah apologize?
AH: No. She hasn't said anything.

June 2003 US FHM

[> Re: AH interview from US FHM- BTVS cast found out SMG quit from EW article. -- CW, 08:27:40 05/03/03 Sat

Before we start bashing SMG, we might want to take a moment to put ourselves in her position. She even more than Joss was the one who had the responsibility of deciding whether the show would go on or not. Through no fault of her own her character has been heavily criticized the last couple years. Frankly, the part of Buffy isn't what it used to be in displaying her acting skills, either. If it makes artistic and economic sense for her to move on, then it's best that she do so. It would have been nicer if she could have told everyone in person what was going to happen. But, realistically in doing that she could expect a good bit of begging and pleading from individuals to change her mind, for reasons ultimately unrelated to the general welfare of everyone involved. No one would really want to go through that. Plus, as AH says, it wasn't exactly a shock to most involved that there would be no eighth season. No matter how she did it, some people are going to see her as a selfish bitch. Her friends will forgive her.

[> [> Re: AH interview from US FHM- BTVS cast found out SMG quit from EW article. -- Dariel, 08:56:11 05/03/03 Sat

First off--what is US FHM--a radio station?

If this is really true, I'd have to say SMG's behavior was unprofessional. Fear of "begging and pleading" is not a good excuse. All of the other actors have careers to think about too; common courtesy would dictate letting them know before talking to EW.

On the other hand, is there any evidence that SMG was ever asked to do an 8th season? She didn't mention it in the EW article.

It's sad, but there's obviously some bad feeling there between SMG and some of the cast, writers, and/or Joss. I never really believed that a new Buffy movie would happen, but am sure it won't now.

[> [> [> Re: AH interview from US FHM- BTVS cast found out SMG quit from EW article. -- CW, 09:06:38 05/03/03 Sat

I'd have to say SMG's behavior was unprofessional

Actually, that depends on whether she'd told Joss ahead of time or not. It certainly was her professional obligation to tell Joss first. But, after that it was Joss' duty as big boss to pass the word to everyone else, whether Sarah could bring herself to tell individuas or not. Unless Joss says something abouti it, we won't know.

[> [> [> [> Good point -- Dariel, 09:20:14 05/03/03 Sat

In the EW article, she said that she'd already spoken to Joss.

Perhaps AH was more angry in a personal sense than professional, although she made it sound like the latter.

I almost didn't read the original post in this thread--think I will go back to my policy of NOT reading about such squabbles. Always best to admire the art and not learn too much about the artists!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good point -- sk, 09:35:46 05/03/03 Sat

Actually in the EW article, it says she spoke to him in Lessons briefly about it, but not since. So no, she didn't tell Joss before she did the article. The writers were taken by surprise.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good point -- Kate, 10:11:07 05/03/03 Sat

To be fair to both SMG and AH, a dear friend of mine dated a famous actor for awhile (like Academy Award famous) and anytime a magazine interview came out I would of course pick up to read and then the two of us would discuss it. And the one thing that would always come up was that her boyfriend (the actor) sometimes felt his answers were taken out of context, which is very true when it comes to print interviews/articles. It is the writer's own perogative (as well as pressure from editors and such to sell mags) to include or not include what he wants in his article. So, sometimes you can't even take direct quotes at face value because that might not have even been the entire quote or extent of the conversation. Just something to keep in mind is all.

[> [> [> It was in the EW article -- SK, 09:33:55 05/03/03 Sat

Wasn't going to comment on this, because I believe the personal lives of the actors are none of our business and well, I feel incredibly sorry for them when we discuss them on the net. is something that has bugged me since I read about it in EW. An interview I wish I'd skipped, because it cast SMG in a very negative light in my humble opinion.

For the record? It's true. The EW exit interview article mentioned it. Twice.

The writers state they didn't know SMG had decided to quit until EW called them and asked for a comment. Or something along those lines. SMG also refers to it, when she says she hadn't spoken to Whedon about it since Lessons or anyone else really. And EW is the first to know. IT really was an exclusive.

Personally? I think it was very insensitive and unprofessional thing to do, particularly from someone who has been in the business since the age of 4 and should know better. Plus she may have done the same thing on AMC, but was excused for being very young and well it's a soap opera and not dependent on actors renewing contracts. The nice thing about soaps. (She announced she was leaving AMC after getting the Emmy in a Soap magazine, royally pissing off the producers of the show. The actors didn't care since it didn't really affect them - which may be why she didn't think it would be such a big problem now, also she may have assumed they already knew...she certainly talked to a few of them about it, they refer to it in interviews. Head did. So did Marsters.) At any rate - Word to the wise? Don't burn bridges. You never know where you may end up in ten years. Acting is a fickle business. Very few child stars make the jump sucessfully from child/adolescent star to adult. The ones that do? Are careful not to burn bridges. Example is Ron Howard, who was very professional about leaving Happy Days. People have very little patience for
celebrity egos or diva complexes. Adopt one at your own risk.

I remember when I left a job. I made a point of personally telling everyone I worked with. It was hell. But I'm proud of that. I left with my dignity intact.

I'm not bashing SMG. I think she's a decent actress. But I do believe she could have handled this better. And I fear it will come back to bite her in the future. If it hasn't already.

[> [> [> [> Just to clear up something -- Btvsfan, 13:50:45 05/03/03 Sat

When Sarah left AMC, she told the producers way before she won the Emmy that she was leaving, ABC held off announcing it until after the day she won the Emmy but they knew in advanced. I was such a fan of that show back then and I remember the soap mags clearing that up after the contreversy regarding her exit hit the fan. Joss has said in a lot of articles that he had already made up his mind and would not have been back for a season 8 whether Sarah decided to stay or not. In the EW article Joss was the one who said ending it was a decision both him and Sarah had made together. If the cast and crew found out from EW then the blame lies with both Sarah and Joss for not telling them, not just Sarah. However since the beginning of the season just about everyone in the cast Aly included said this would be it, they knew it was ending so I hardly think they weren't out looking for jobs way before the EW interview. Michelle had a movie lined up before the announcement, Marti and Jane Espenson also had projects lined up and NB got his sitcom shortly after, so evidentally some members of the cast and crew knew. Its common courtesy for Sarah to tell them but Joss and Fox are their bosses not Sarah. There was also talk of spin off on the table early on so even if Sarah had left they would have potentially have still had jobs.

[> [> [> FHM = For Him Magazine -- KdS, 13:40:01 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> I Know What She Did Last Summer with Cruel Intentions -- Whited Sepulcher, 13:55:04 05/03/03 Sat

"Frankly, the part of Buffy isn't what it used to be in displaying her acting skills, either."

Perhaps if she had tongue-wrestled with Willow? Screamed more shrilly during horror moments? Had a rich, evil Doppleganger? Allowed Susan Lucci to play the part of Joyce?

... then she could have displayed more of her fine acting skills.

Let's All Strip Down to Our Boxers -- Buffyboy, 12:47:43 05/03/03 Sat

In today's San Francisco Chronicle there is an article entitled "End Game: Networks kill off some long-running series and cook up crazy stunts for May sweeps" by one Peter Hartlaub, who is BTW not the normal Chronicle TV critic. In this article Mr. Hartlaub has one short ill-informed paragraph concerning BtVS in which he offers us BtVS fans some sage advice.

"Stop writing letters to UPN. It's over. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" confronts her demons on May 20, giving the show's devastated fans one last chance to strip down to their boxers and make out with the television screen."

[> LOL -- KdS, 13:41:35 05/03/03 Sat

It's a nice change for male BtVS fans to be accused of irrational lust for performers ;-)

[> [> People are writing into UPN? -- Masq, 14:15:37 05/03/03 Sat

Being part of the internet fandom community, and reading articles where Joss explains why the show is ending, I guess I forget sometimes there are people who think Buffy is merely being "canceled".

I for one, like to see a show go out while it is still at the (more-or-less) top of its game. I wish the X-Files would have had the wisdom to bow out with a spectacular, well-thought-out finish at the end of Season 7.

[> My invitation to UPNs final Television Make-out Screen Party DID NOT specify boxers! -- WickedBuffy ::can only snoopydance in a thong::, 13:42:27 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> In my plan we are boxer-less -- ponygirl (TOGA!!), 14:13:33 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> Okay, but no singing 'We are as Gods' ;o) -- CW, 14:24:03 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> But if it's on Joss's karaoke machine .... -- WickedBuffy (what about 'I Got The Mustard Out'?)), 15:07:02 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Yeah...cause it's 'We are Gods'.......;) -- Rufus, 20:07:03 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah...cause it's 'We are Gods'.......;) -- CW, 07:12:57 05/04/03 Sun

Rufus, as Vinnie Barbarino used to say, "I'm so confused!"

We're joking around here so a) are you joking? b) telling us it's "We are Gods" in the shooting scripts? or c) did I accidentally put Jack Daniels on my Puffed Wheat this morning?

Cause I know for certain sure they sang, "We are as Gods," in the aired ep. I'd say something sweet like 'you've always been a poster goddess to me,' but your husband would probably come down here and beat the bejeebers out of me. ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Color me confused, too... -- dub, 08:46:52 05/04/03 Sun

I re-watched last night...definitely We are as gods.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yet some prefer 'We are as Goddesses' -- WickedBuffy, 19:26:27 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, it's both -- BKTeufel, 23:02:54 05/04/03 Sun

You're both right. The song goes like this:

"We are gods
oh, we are gods
we're as gods
we are as gooooooods!"

And when Andrew thinks about it the second time it's just "We are as gods"
Personally, I like the shooting script version even better: "Gods are we! Merry gods are we!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> Dear Mr. Bejeebers....... -- Rufus, 09:57:43 05/05/03 Mon

The winking emoticon is the hint......and Jack Daniels would take the puff out of just about anything....;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Dear Mr. Bejeebers....... -- CW, 10:42:19 05/05/03 Mon

Just wanted to be sure I knew what you were telling me... Maybe I should switch to Canadian Club for my alchoholic drink of lame-humor choice.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Dear Mr. Bejeebers.......<g> Canadian Club -- Rufus, 11:19:20 05/05/03 Mon

Just don't be pouring the spirits on poor little puffs things...;)

[> [> My invitation clearly reads 'Clothing Optional'. -- HonorH (wanting her 'naked time'), 23:21:56 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> HonorH, I can't picture your evil alter ego giving up her leather outfits for ANYTHING. -- Rhys, 05:36:01 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> My leather thong actually doubles as fashionable headband. -- WickedGood, 19:24:50 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> Did someone say 'leather?' -- Whipwoman [Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha], 11:18:42 05/05/03 Mon

What is Jasmine: The Grand Inquisitor, Candide, and Connor -- luna, 23:14:36 05/03/03 Sat this best of all possible worlds...

Many of us immediately identified Jasmine's phrase in Peace Out with the lesson of Candide's tutor, Dr. Pangloss, who preached that "All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds." I too heard it and tried to make the connection. Where is Candide in this? Is it all the people who come under Jasmine's spell? But that's so removed from Voltaire's novel, where there's one innocent who doggedly accepts this belief, in the face of conscription, earthquake, torture, murder, rape, and general horror. The rest of the world, in that novel, is fairly convinced that nothing good will happen, and we'd best " tend our garden" and try to forget about everything else. In some ways, the Jasmine episodes are almost a negative of that plot: everyone is captured by Jasmine's spell, and only a few realize that it's not for the best.

But as I watched the Jasmine episodes, I was also thinking of the Grand Inquisitor, in The Brothers Karamazov. That dialogue goes in a very different direction. Ivan, the skeptical, logical brother, tells a story, or parable, to Alyosha, the mystical brother. In this story, Christ returns to earth. His return is much like Jasmine's appearance: The people are irresistibly drawn to Him, they surround Him, they flock about Him, follow Him. He moves silently in their midst with a gentle smile of infinite compassion. The sun of love burns in His heart, and power shine from His eyes, and their radiance, shed on the people, stirs their hearts with responsive love. He holds out His hands to them, blesses them, and a healing virtue comes from contact with Him, even with His garments. An old man in the crowd, blind from childhood, cries out, 'O Lord, heal me and I shall see Thee!' and, as it were, scales fall from his eyes and the blind man sees Him. The crowd weeps and kisses the earth under His feet. Children throw flowers before Him, sing, and cry hosannah. 'It is He- it is He!' repeat. Does it sound like Jasmine? But wait.
In Ivan Karamoazonv's tale, Christ comes just at the conclusion of an auto-da-fe or burning of "heretics"-anyone who disagrees with the orthodox beliefs championed by the Grand Inquisitor. In this parable, the Grand Inquisitor berates Christ for his responses when tempted by the devil in the wilderness, especially for his refusal to turn stones into bread. This act, to the GI, gave humankind free will: Thou mayest not add to what has been said of old, and mayest not take from men the freedom which Thou didst exalt when Thou wast on earth. Whatsoever Thou revealest anew will encroach on men's freedom of faith; for it will be manifest as a miracle, and the freedom of their faith was dearer to Thee than anything in those days fifteen hundred years ago.
Here is the heart of the Grand Inquisitor's argument. Judge Thyself who was right -- Thou or he who questioned Thee then?...nothing has ever been more insupportable for a man and a human society than freedom. Christ has not given his believers bread, but freedom, by saying that he will not use miraculous power to save himself.
So although Jasmine is perceived at first as being like Christ, in her actions she is the opposite. She offers not physical bread (has physical hunger-real hunger-ever been in evidence in the Buffy/Angelverse? Even vamps have unlimited pig blood without trying) but the bread of emotions-easy "love" without the work of reconciliation, commitment, effort. All you have to do is give up your freedom. Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without us! No science will give them bread so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, "Make us your slaves, but feed us." They will understand themselves, at last, that freedom and bread enough for all are inconceivable together, for never, never will they be able to share between them! They will be convinced, too, that they can never be free, for they are weak, vicious, worthless, and rebellious... Didst Thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil? Jasmine is exactly the god the Grand Inquisitor would have ordered. She may not be the Anti-Christ of Revelations, but she is the opposite of the Christ of Dostoevsky. (Interestingly, her believers are literally her bread--do they also limit her freedom?) She is much like the Grand Inquisitor himself, the embodiment of a corrupted but all-powerful establishment: We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated, if it is done with our permission, that we allow them to sin because we love them, and the punishment for these sins we take upon ourselves. And we shall take it upon ourselves, and they will adore us as their saviours who have taken on themselves their sins before God. And they will have no secrets from us. We shall allow or forbid them to live with their wives and mistresses, to have or not to have children according to whether they have been obedient or disobedient- and they will submit to us gladly and cheerfully.
The connection with Candide is not totally random. There is also in Candide an auto-da-fe and a Grand Inquisitor, but he is not a philosophical proposition; instead, he is yet another example of human iniquity at every level. Candide suffers through that experience like all the others, finally coming to the realization that there is no Providence, no basic goodness in the universe. Whether you see the Bernstein opera or read the book, eventually Candide's hope that all will be well appears as insanity.
A character much like Candide is Alyosha, the younger brother who hears Ivan Karamazov's tale of the Grand Inquisitor. He is a serious version of Candide-he believes in the ultimate goodness of creation because it ultimately comes from God. Oddly, he believes this in the face of much of the same kind of evidence that Voltaire uses to show how wrong it is. Like many of Dostoevsky's characters, he is not bound by logic, but by his inner self.
So we come to Connor, who believes in Jasmine despite the evidence of her evil. Who is he-Candide the fool, or Alyosha the mystic? What is the nature of the world he lives in? I would say he is neither, because he rejects the premise that all is good because it springs from a basic goodness in the creator. He accepts that evil is the nature of existence, and what he sees in Jasmine is exactly what the Grand Inquisitor offered: freedom from freedom.

[> If Jasmine is Pangloss . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:30:24 05/04/03 Sun

Then is there some connection between Pangloss's syphillis and the more deformed look Jasmine acquired after her name was said?

[> [> LOL -- luna, 12:02:47 05/04/03 Sun

Or possibly some of the other things that happened to Pangloss at various times!

[> it may just mean... -- anom, 12:09:04 05/04/03 Sun

...that the "best of all possible worlds" that Jasmine offers is no more real than the one Pangloss sees. Even if it's real on the surface, if there's no choice about it, then on a deeper level it's not real--just a puppet show.

And if my earlier q. about the economic effects of Jasmine's "new beginning" is valid, then it won't even remain real on the surface for long. If the Lakers (note to our farther-flung board readers & the profoundly non-sports-minded: that's LA's basketball team) are disbanding to devote more time to loving Jasmine, how many other people are no longer doing their jobs? How long before economies collapse all over the world, disrupting all the systems that provide people w/what they need to stay alive? OK, maybe Jasmine isn't so interested in sports but would still use her control over people to keep activities more essential to survival (note to the profoundly sports-minded: survival, not Life) going. But nothing she said suggested that. So her perfect, peaceful world wouldn't have lasted very long, & again her promise is a lie.

Thoughts On Jasmine and Good and Evil -- Mightor (formerly known as Angelus), 00:51:01 05/04/03 Sun

Nothing I'm going to say here is intended to be sarcastic. I'm just looking at these "beings" from their point of view.
Apologies if this has all been covered already in other threads.

The basic premise of this is whether Jasmine is good or evil and whether the whole argument hinges solely on point of view.

First, a look at religion. I want to attempt to step into the shoes of the Old Testament god. Here is a deity that tells people to wipe out beliefs in all gods but himself, who sends his minions into neighboring cities with orders to kill every man, woman and child including babies (see Joshua) supposedly because the risk of his people being contaminated with their ideas is too great. This is a god that is willing to slaughter thousands including total innocents for the purpose of crafting his chosen people into what he wants them to be for their greater good. If we bring Christian beliefs into it, it was for the greater good of the world in the long run, to bring the chance for salvation to the human race. One might also argue that a god doesn't look at killing the way we do because he knows the soul still survives. From his point of view, he hasn't truly killed anybody. But that aside, are the actions of the OT or the Christian god good or evil?

Now let's look at Jasmine. She killed people, including innocents, in order to be born and to then craft the world into what she thinks it should be. She slaughtered thousands to save millions and save the world. She also wanted some nice temples just like Yahweh and lots of other gods got. She wanted to be the only god just like Yahweh or Allah.

In my honest opinion, if she is evil so is the god of the Bible, the Quran, and so on. If they are not evil, I fail to see how she is.

There is one factor: she gave people no choice but I am not sure its a difference. The Protestant church is divided on certain major issues. One of them is Predestination versus Free Will. The Calvinist arm of Protestantism believes that "Those he foreknew he also predestined". In other words, some people are predestined to be saved and some to be damned.

With Jasmine, pretty much everybody was to be saved unless she absorbed them. But we don't know if they became a part of her. Since all people will eventually die, did she send them to some heaven? In other words, was the fate that those she "ate" suffered any different than all would eventually face?

Also there is the immortality factor. To a being that has lived since the dawn of creation, the greater good of the world in the Big Picture sense is probably a far greater good than the loss of a few thousand.

So really, did Angel save the world or did he wipe out a plan that was meant to be the salvation of the world planned since maybe the beginning of time?

Also, is Jasmine any different than the gods of a number of religions? If she isn't any different, was that maybe a point Joss was trying to make?

I'm not Jewish or Christian or Islamic but I see a similarity and I think that judging her good or evil isn't all that simple. I think she even made a comment that Angel has killed thousands of demons and implied that to her point of view, its all just as evil or just as good. From their point of view, they were doing what it was their nature to do when Angel killed them. Her perspective was that she's above these good and evil concepts. These are just distinctions some beings draw about themselves.

Just some "theological thoughts" that this episode got me to thinking about.

[> Predestination and the sacrifice of Gods -- manwitch, 08:46:43 05/04/03 Sun

Predestination in the protestant church is kind of interesting. I was always most intrigued by the fact that this predestination is only relevant from God's point of view. To the individual who is predestined, while they may have faith, the world still appears to be one of Free Will.
In some Protestant Groups in New England, for example, the entire congregation was either predestined or not. But they didn't know. They were expected to behave as though they were all predestined. The slacking bad attitude behavior of one punky young protestant could threaten the whole group. You could behave godlessly enough to threaten the entire predestination, sort of causing God to cancel the contract. So there was great social pressure to behave in certain ways. But the implication is obviously that you still have the Free Will to throw it all away.

So, philosophically, determinism may be contrary to Free Will (although I thik that could be a long argument), but Predestination in Protestantism isn't really.

Plus, the old testament god gives us Free Will from even before we are expelled from the Garden. The all knowing God certainly must be aware that Adam and Eve have the power of choice to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Otherwise he wouldn't feel it necessary to tell them not to do it. And they take that power upon themseves and do choose to eat from it. So they already had Free Will. Then, the God of the Old Testament gives them a dose more of it, by casting them out of the Garden of Eden and into the world we know of as Life.

There seems to be an implication at any rate that Jasmine does not do this. That she denies Free Will completely. In this way she is different from the Old Testament God. But her followers are not different from religious followers. The hypocrisy of their love and kindness while ready to kill anyone who is other, and their blind unthinking acceptance of Jasmine's ridiculous claims smacks of many incarnations of fundamentalism throughout the world.

The Old Testament God is the one who sent his only son to earth, and that son took upon himself the sins of man. Jesus offers himself as a sacrifice to God on our behalf. We sacrifice God to God. And being such an incredible sacrifice, God can't refuse to accept it and we are all absolved for our sins. So, one could see Jasmine in a Christ sort of light, as the divine sacrifice that we must make to the powers in order to redeem ourselves in their eyes. And as with Christ, there is a "Father kills the Son" aspect to it as Connor, the father, punches his divine son Jasmine right through the friggin skull. But it didn't really seem like a ritual sacrifice. So in this sense Jasmine might or might not be like Christ or the God sacrifice.

In Thus Spake Zarathustra, and I hope frisby will correct me if I am wrong, Nietzsche's madman admonishes the people that in murdering God, the divine blood on their hands leaves them to the greatest and hardest of all destinies. They must now create their own values in the absence of divine ones. The ultimate exercise in free will, but also the ultimate life-affirming act. Could Jasmine be that God, the giver of "life-enhancing illusions" that has now been killed by us all, whose blood has disolved away those illusions and left us with the ominously higher task of making our own way in the world?

One also sees an "opiate of the masses" quality in Jasmine as she absorbs not only people, but their pain, feeding off it even, anesthetizing them as it were against the true experience of life.

[> [> Thanks for the Neitzsche stuff! -- Masq, 09:38:03 05/04/03 Sun

I've been looking for some of that for my "Peace Out" analysis. Taking more of an existentialist angle on Connor "killing god", but it is a very Nietzschean moment as well.

[> [> [> Spoilers for 'Peace Out' above -- Masq, 09:40:41 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> No Correction Necessary -- frisby, 16:20:06 05/04/03 Sun

I'm sure no final word on Nietzsche, but his position on value is hotly contested. Generally, yes, modernity (through Machiavelli and Bacon and Descartes and) murders God just as on a larger scale the western tradition (through Plato) drives out all the gods (the Twilight of the Gods or Idols), and humanity becomes responsible for anchoring what is good not to mention its own destiny.

But, when Zarathustra speaks to the people (in the prologue) he says in the same breath not only that God is dead, but now that God is dead, the EARTH becomes that which is the highest thing to not devalue, and this it seems to me, is in his understanding, not some relativistic assigning of values willy nilly -- rather, now that God is no longer the anchor for humanity, or its why and whither, then in the nature of things (so to speak) the EARTH (as our habitat, our nature, our larger selves in a way) takes that place.

Or again, modern humans need to value our planet as that which provides our origin and sustenance etc. It may not be a value that is simply necessary, analytic so to speak, but its necessary in the sense of needed, wise, and appropriate.

Zarathustra further at that point speaks of the meaning of the earth as the ubermensch -- but that's another major topic. And Nietzsche's greatest topic, the great event of the great noon of the earth and humanity, is also pertinent.

As for Buffy, I'm anxiously waiting for both it and Angel to wind down before I'll be able to make sense of it all. Caleb and Jasmine seem to me two sides of the same coin of religion in some way or other. I'm anticipating the role or place the EARTH will play in the finales, esp. Buffy (esp Willow's insight of its connection to everything, and the darker aspects too). [But might one associate Buffy with the ubermensch? and the series finale with the great noon?]

Returning to "lurking" mode -- the posting mode doesn't seem to wear well these days. But I'll never forget that opening shot of "Storyteller" where Nietzsche was centered with Shakespeare -- thank you Mutant Enemy.

I do hope that seasons 4-7 are released on dvd before the May 28-30 conference in 2004 in Nashville!

-- oh -- one last high point -- is N's thought of eternal return merely another life-enhancing illusion? or is it the good in itself, natural value?

[> [> [> Re: No Correction Necessary -- aliera, 05:13:51 05/05/03 Mon

We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.

frisby: Returning to "lurking" mode -- the posting mode doesn't seem to wear well these days. But I'll never forget that opening shot of "Storyteller" where Nietzsche was centered with Shakespeare -- thank you Mutant Enemy.

Wasn't it just! And I hope not...but that's a personal hope of course. Why do you think it's not wearing well?

There are no facts, only interpretations.

frisby-- oh -- one last high point -- is N's thought of eternal return merely another life-enhancing illusion? or is it the good in itself, natural value?

What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneliness, and say, 'This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned and you with it, dust of the dust!' Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, 'Never have I heard anything more divine'?

frisby: As for Buffy, I'm anxiously waiting for both it and Angel to wind down before I'll be able to make sense of it all. Caleb and Jasmine seem to me two sides of the same coin of religion in some way or other.

It's funny you mention this because I 've been wandering thoughts around these same issues and the mention of Gaia Oh--one last thought or word!

Existence really is an imperfect tense that never becomes a present. No endings? But that lead to the germ of a seed of a new beginning?

[> [> [> [> Re: No Correction Necessary -- frisby, 10:54:01 05/05/03 Mon

hi aliera

i think the answer to the question depends on whether the past has ontological status or not

if yes, then good in itself

if no, illusion

personally, i believe the past is real

(but that depends on an understanding of time (or birth, lif, and death))

ps know anything of Heidegger's "new beginning" (earth and sky, gods and mortals)?

[> Some more thoughts on the religion of Jasmine -- Tyreseus, 17:34:29 05/04/03 Sun

Mightor, I love the new nom-de-plum! It reminds me of a comic book villain - actually, I picture Skeletor from He-Man - but it's still cool.

Your comparison of Jasmine to the gods of our real world did get me thinking about how they were similar and how they were different and I've ultimately decided that based on what we were shown, they are very different.

Why? Theology.

In any major religion I'm familiar with, it's not just the message of the god/goddess that's important, it's also the concept of the soul and after-death reward/punishment. Reincarnation, heaven/hell, nirvana, whatever the afterlife holds, most world religions have a whole theological explanation for the human soul. You question this in your own interesting comments:

With Jasmine, pretty much everybody was to be saved unless she absorbed them. But we don't know if they became a part of her. Since all people will eventually die, did she send them to some heaven? In other words, was the fate that those she "ate" suffered any different than all would eventually face?

But we never get a full explanation of what Jasminites believe. Maybe they do believe that they become further absorbed into The Body Jasmine, maybe not.

Jasmine's religion is based purely on unconditional and total obedience and love of Jasmine and each other.

We know that the Jossverse has "heaven" and "hell" dimensions - Cordelia and Buffy have both visited (a/the?) peaceful dimension. But Jasmine doesn't reveal if she has any power of the souls she absorbs and where they go. Is she truly a goddess, determining the fate of the soul? Or was she just some almighty being with powers we - for lack of better terminology - desribe as god-like? Glory was a similar problem. In this polytheistic universe of gods and goddesses and powers-that-be from many dimensions, who is the ultimate authority? Is there one supreme, all-powerful deity who truly decides (in the end) the disposition of the human soul?

Jasmine also takes a major departure from the Christian God in the manner of her death. Disclaimer: I don't pretend to be Christian (was raised as such in the Mormon faith, but have long since abandoned those beliefs), so my comments are not meant to offend or defend.

Biblical cannon tells us that as Jesus was dying on the cross, he pleaded for mercy - not for himself, but for the soldiers who crucified him. "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." The Christian God espouses forgiveness right up until the end. While Jasmine appeared to offer forgiveness to those who "betrayed" her, at some point she stopped forgiving and demanded death. Angel (playing the role of the Roman Soldier) was not forgiven for his lack of faith, she tried to kill him as the first step in her plan to kill how many hundreds and thousands of humans out of sheer vengeance?

It was Angel who offered forgiveness. "Just because you've lost your powers doesn't mean you can't still help to make the world better." Angel offered Jasmine the chance to be redeemed for her "birthing pains" not through god-like power of inspiring devotion and love (magic), but through the human route of hard work, self-sacrifice and freedom. That Jasmine reacted in anger and hatred at her betrayal and loss shows how human she was.

Jasmine, who was so enamoured of the human form (do you know how wonderful it is to feel things), contrasts sharply with Glory, who found her human form to be punishment - a cage. But in the end, she knew she wasn't human. Which begs some questions - did Jasmine have a soul that survived her human body? If so, what happened to it? Did she return to the bug dimension? To the place where the PTB reside? To the ether? Will she have another 2000 years to recreate the ideal situation for her return to Earth? Will any among her followers preach her religion waiting for her to return on Earth or in the bug-dimension?

Jasmine's reactions were more like the Old Testament God of vengeance and wrath - a God who punished his people for lack of faith.

As for the free-will argument, I don't know how cannon this is with Christianity as a whole, but this is how I learned about Lucifer growing up Mormon. Long before the Garden of Eden, a great war was fought in heaven. The war was fought over whether or not mankind should have free will to choose to love God, or be forced to love God. Lucifer believed that he had the better plan -without free will - because all would earn a place in heaven. God, however, decided it was better to test mankind and allow them to choose to love Him or not. Because Lucifer was proud, the hosts of heaven went to war over this. In the end, Lucifer was cast forever out of God's light and will suffer eternal darkness. (I realize this also bears a resemblance to Paradise Lost)

In AtS, Jasmine plays a role much more familiar to me as Lucifer. Well intentioned, but ultimately proud.

Anyway, I'd love to hear some other thoughts on how Jasmine stacks up against the gods and goddesses of real-world human belief.

[> [> Oops, spoilers for 'Peace Out' above. Sorry. -- Tyreseus, 17:35:57 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Re: Some more thoughts on the religion of Jasmine -- Mightor, 23:44:45 05/04/03 Sun

Tyreseus, Mightor was actually a Saturday morning cartoon hero in 1967-68 when I was a kid.

I agree with a lot of the arguments you brought up, most especially the one that neither Jasmine nor "Jasminites" have any theology or philosophy whatsoever. Even the staunchest fundamentalist of any religion has some premise of a set of rules and is capable of breaking those rules even if it requires rationalizing that that's not what they are doing. In terms of real religion, people adapt the religion and make the beliefs what works for them. Some don't and religion becomes a negative. What I'm saying is that if someone kills in the name of his god its because that's really what he wants to do and so he manipulates his own beliefs so that that's what his religion says. If deep down he believes any harm to another person is wrong, then he looks harder at the passages emphasizing that and puts more mental effort into rationalizing passages to the contrary. Everybody makes their religion. No two people believe in exactly the same god.

Now with Jasmine, none of what I said above is true. Nobody is simply inspired by her. As you said, there are no laws except do what she says this moment. There is no theology, not even a harsh OT one. There is no adapting the inspiration she brings and expressing it in your own way. There is blind obedience without the slightest question even by the most extreme Fundamentalist standards because even the capacity to disobey by way of rationalizing and pretending that's not what you are doing isn't there.

The main point you brought up was the lack of any afterlife or any point to Jasminism (and coming up with these terms is fun). Christianity didn't always replace older religions by violence. For instance, the ancient Norsemen quite gladly converted. The Norse religion had a theology but it was one made for a very primitive culture and no longer suited their needs compared to Christian theology. Also, as I understand it, the afterlife in Valhalla was for warriors and only those who died in battle. If you died as a child or when you were old, if you were not a warrior, if you were a woman, if you just didn't die in battle, Vallhalla wasn't for you. Along comes Christianity and says that you need simply believe in this god and your sins will be forgiven and you will have eternal life.

Some religions like Buddhism don't concern themselves with the afterlife but they are detailed in how to live this life and to understand the deeper truths of this life.

In any religion, be it theistic or not, certain questions humans will always ask are answered.
Who am I?
Why am I?
What is right?
What is wrong?
What will happen when I die?

On the last one, some religions may just say that what we do in life is what matters and they may give us a way to look within ourselves for a core way of understanding right and wrong but in one way or the other they address these questions and others I am undoubtedly overlooking.

But with Jasminism, the answers are:
Who am I? Not only I don't know but I don't care.
Why am I? To serve Jasmine (And serve her why? What about her makes her someone I should serve? I don't know and I don't care).
What is Right and what is wrong? Whatever Jasmine says.
What will happen when I die? Hmm, strangely that question never entered my mind.

I also think, though I have no way of knowing for sure, that real life religions start with some sort of question that needs answering or a philosophical concept that needs addressing and a deity is formed from those beginnings. If Jasmine came in response to such things as their fulfillment it might be different. If she came as an answer to even the dark side of humanity, it might be different. But as it is, its hard to see her fitting in with any "real life" religion. We don't even need to go as far as modern Christianity. Even a deity like Thor served a practical function (rain for the crops) and the questions Norse myth dealt with (how to make better spears, rules of hospitality, relations between villages, etc.) while seeming pointless to us were very important to the people of the era when the religion was formed.

Anyway, you've convinced me that Jasmine really doesn't make sense with any known religion anymore that Glory did. Glory likewise served no purpose that had a symbiosis with humans, serving their needs.

I still believe that Jasmine was meant as a parody of religious belief, a metaphor for a metaphor if you will.

[> [> [> Good posts -- Arethusa, 07:53:03 05/05/03 Mon

I agree, especially with the bit about Jasmine parodying, or at least pointing out the flaws of, religious belief. But I think Jasmine did offer people something that people wanted-freedom from fear. If you're going by Maslow's hierarchy of needs, just below physiological needs is security needs, which Jasmine offered everyone. Freedom from fear was listed as one of the main reasons to fight the war on terrorism, and is often used by campaigning politicians, even those who have nothing to do with law and order.

I guess Connor, who can meet his physiological needs and safety needs, falls under the "love and belonging" catagory. Angel is at times stuck in "esteem needs," and Buffy, I think, is at self-actualization. And by these standards, Jasmine is one needy god-she appears to depend on humans for food, a sense of belonging, and self-esteem.

[> [> [> [> Re: Good posts -- Rufus, 22:19:44 05/05/03 Mon

I guess Connor, who can meet his physiological needs and safety needs, falls under the "love and belonging" catagory. Angel is at times stuck in "esteem needs," and Buffy, I think, is at self-actualization. And by these standards, Jasmine is one needy god-she appears to depend on humans for food, a sense of belonging, and self-esteem.

I have to make a point about the insect dimension, the one that Jasmine lived in then deserted for greener pastures. She considered that dimension a mistake "she wouldn't make again". But her mistake was coming to the earth dimension where there was always the chance that someone could defy her thrall and start a movement to reject her.

Jasmine depended upon people for everything, thinking that she gave enough to justify what she took. It was the "device" created to join with the transcendent mother who proved her undoing. The insect dimension had hoped for Jasmines return, as soon as the humans could see what she was they rejected her (remember the guy throwing a stone at her and hitting glass). In transcending to human like form, Jasmine gave up her god status because it could be taken from her as soon as she was capable of "feeling" like other humans. There was a price she was willing to pay and I ask why would any God be willing to give up their place in the heavens to "live as (or close to) human"?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good posts -- Mightor, 01:09:25 05/06/03 Tue

Rufus said: "There was a price she was willing to pay and I ask why would any God be willing to give up their place in the heavens to "live as (or close to) human"?"

I suspect for much the same reasons one human would sacrifice him/ herself for another when he/ she didn't have to. Other factors overide the desire for personal survival and the Big Risk is taken. These gods are all so anthropomorphic aren't they? :))

[> [> [> [> Re: Good posts -- Mightor, 01:05:58 05/06/03 Tue

"And by these standards, Jasmine is one needy god-she appears to depend on humans for food, a sense of belonging, and self-esteem."

I think the food thing was a metaphor for worship, the idea that a god is dependent on worshipers for its power, its very existence. A god no longer worshiped becomes a mythical character.

But the freedom from fear aspect gets me to thinking. That is a need she meets for people though granted its in a drug-induced opiate of the masses sort of way. Its clearly not true happiness because, hey, no Angelus.

But relief from fear is the most basic and superficial level of religious belief. Another level is the desire to please the deity for how it has made you feel. Then to do good because the deity wants you too. Finally to do good because its good. In Joss's storyline its only the two lowest and most common levels. In Jasminism, it is impossible to become a saint doing good for goodness's sake because the very nature of Jasmine prevents anyone from attaining such heights. Everyone is exactly the same and no one ever goes beyond the purely superficial level. Now I grant you I have heard Fundamentalists say that what I call the highest level where you finally do good not for reward or lack of punishment but for its own sake is the Big Lie of Mr. Devil because it should always be to please God. I can easily understand that Joss either sees that as being essentially what religion is (the Fundamentalist level) or he knows there is more to it but that's the level he is parodying.

The Angel, the Beast, and the Laugh of the Creator (Angel Odyssey 4.8-4.10) -- Tchaikovsky, 10:27:31 05/04/03 Sun

That's something delightful about evil laughing. My favourite evil laughing is the aliens from 'The Simpsons', whose evil laughs go on just a beat or two too long. Then there's the evil laugh of the evil contingent of this board, (I would write Bwhahahahaha!!, but I fear it's copyrighted), and Phoebe and Joey's evil scheme laugh on 'Friends', (if you haven't seen it don't worry- nothing's a good reason to watch 'Friends'), and of course, the King of the evil laugh, Harry Groener's The Mayor. At the end of 'Awakening', we get an evil laugh par excellence from Angelus, which lasts right into end 'Joss Whedon' screen. That reall ain't a mistake, folks. In fact, it seems like a perfect moment in a Season that is just coming to the boil. "Look how effortlessly I can trick you," the creator taunts. "And now for the real story!"

Annoyingly, just I have to switch tapes with yabyumpan again, the Season has caught my interest. I have to admit that after the wonderful start of 'Deep Down', only 'Supersymmetry' seemed right up there with the classics until the magic touch of Mere Smith cranked the Season up for me in 'Long Day's Journey'. Immediately before that came the showrunner's effort:

4.8- 'Habeas Corpses'

Reminded me in style very much of Season Three's 'The Price'. A big, tense haunted house thriller. These really aren't my sort of episodes, and although it was done perfectly well, there was too little philosophical and literary gristle to chew on for me to accept the long, long action sequences. I realise that for other people these episodes are an unmitigated joy. But it's my review...;-)

If nothing else, you've got to love zombie lawyers, and I have to stay that the long overdue demise of Gavin Park, joining the similarly tedious Linwood, was rewarding for me. From the stable who created the very satisfying Lindsey and Holland Manners, and the wonderful Lilah, these just seemed tedious and without bite- possibly to contrast with the filling out and deepening of Lilah as a character. By this point of the story, Lilah's is one of the most compelling character arcs on either show, and here we get a couple of wonderful scenes with her.

In Lilah's revelation to Wesley of Connor's presence in Wolfram and Hart's headquarters, she may have committed the first act in a redemption of her character. In context, the audience realises just what a big step it is. The idea that she is doing it for Wesley is quickly dismissed by the break-up earlier in the episode. The old, simpler Lilah would have undoubtedly let Connor die. His life is not protected by Wolfram and Hart, and it would be a likely reason to turn Angel into the kind of character who could become the lawyers' greatest asset. Yet here, sheerly for the connection with Angel, just because she knows, she tells Wesley, and enables him to help AI save the child.

That this is possible is due to the beginning of the reconciliation between Angel and Wesley. This is the point where Wesley, jolted by the apocalyptic harbingers, decides that there is good and evil, and it is time for him to return to the side of Good. This is certainly not an easy job. He is still on pretty bad terms with both Angel and Gunn, and Gunn' suspicions for his return go little beyond possessiveness. The question for Wesley is how far does he believe Lilah's lovely metaphor about white and black paint. The idea is compelling; it's wonderful imagery. Yet by setting up an analogy which is unsustainable, it becomes merely nonsense- propaganda for moral ambiguity. It's interesting to refer to the metaphors of white and black, and quite where they fit into Angel at this point. It does not appear that black is very routinely associated with Evil- although obviously 'dark' is, with the sun, representing life being undermined, the forces of Evil can roam unfettered. Ultimately, we are not merely Good or Evil. Lilah's argument may be about people's motivations. Wesley has decided that he is still motivated to be in situations where there is the possibility of good acts more often than not. To have the tendency to do Good. Yet as we have seen throughout these shows, everyone is flaws, and everyone has the capacity for evil acts. Maybe everyone really is grey, even if a Whiter shade of Grey.

Talking of moral ambiguity, Josef Stalin was no beacon of light when it came to leading a country without massacring people on a whim. One of his most famous sayings came to me while watching the end of 'Habeas Corpses'. 'One man's death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic'. Amid the carnage of Wolfram and Hart, it is difficult to conceptualise the damage that The Beast has done, and, as Fred does her own bit for blurring The Line, even though they were working for an evil company, it is hard to see the lawyers massacred. Yet it is possible, probable perhaps, that Angel would not have got involved if not for the one man; Connor. When we realise Connor is trapped inside, his very identity is enough to make us involved in the rampage again. It is not that we ignore the other people, but that the one person in danger is what engages us. While Stalin may have been talking blood-chillingly literally, he had a point about perception- there are personal tragedies and there is tragedy on a grand scale. This is one of the points this Season is making- behind the giant, world-threatening events, there are the little personal nuances of life, which can be harder to deal with than anything.

One of the nuances addressed in this particular episode is the apparently decaying partnership between Fred and Gunn. When Fred meets Gunn back at the Hyperion, the distance between them appears to snap out of the relationship immediately. It is only without what she has that Fred realises what she was on the verge of throwing away. But in the re-initiation of Wesley to the team, the tension is built up, allowing the uneasy stasis in the triangle to be expanded over several episodes. Gunn and Wesley came dangerously close to blows. Angel, the uneasy leader, as usual tied up in his own problems, tells them to stop the in-fighting and fight instead to save Connor. Ultimately, the petty differences must be put aside to hrlp the one man- the reason for Angel's joy and frustration at the moment- a perfectly apt description of a child to a father.

One of the nicest little portrayals of Connor as teenager comes in this episode, with the cracking little exchange with Angel about zombies: 'They're not like me. They're slow-moving, dim-witted things, with a lust for flesh' [pause] 'Like you'.

Meanwhile, the deeply confused triangle between Cordelia, Angel and Connor is seeming destructive again. Angel, unable to cope with his feelings for Cordelia while attempting to save Connor, not only does not allow her to come on the mission, but also gives a lame excuse about being worried about her, before unsmoothly telling Fred to get a move on. The strain in the relationship is showing, and it has to be said, considering Cordelia's morning after speech to Connor, that it is largely her fault. She has managed to confuse Connor before more or less betraying Angel, and her lack of clarity over her intentions and affections appear to be causing most of the harm of the situation. Whether she is disorientated or is merely trying to establish distance from Angel is unclear, but she certainly is becoming the enigma at the heart of the show, with her motivations quite a riddle.

Then comes the white room. This is a reaction to the rest of the episode, which is darkly lit to the point of being hard to watch except in pitch darkness. The reaction from one to the other is important, establishing the distance form the location of the Beast to the location of the lawyers, both physically and metaphorically. Notably, here white is used as discomfiting if not all out evil, so clearly the black/white imagery is not as clear cut as it might be imagined. The Beast has killed its first target, leaving the worryingly ambiguous phrase, 'The Answer is Among You'. Last time we had an apparently simple prophecy; 'The Father Will Kill The Son', it tunred out not even to be true. Yet the gang still appear to treat this prophecy as Gospel, [perhaps not the best expression]. It is working out precisely what it purports that becomes one of the major targets for the group over the next couple of episodes.

Finally, we see Cordelia start to realise the problems she has already caused. Her actions in the followng episodes are crucial in a beginning of reconciliation between the Father and the Son.

4.9- 'Long Day's Journey'

I may not be the biggest Jeffrey Bell fan, but on the other hand, I am one of the biggest Mere Smith fans around. After the departure of Tim Minear, she is probably my favourite regular writer on the show, and here she does a splendid job of taking a Season which, while plotwise hurtling at a breakneck speed, was idling in terms of character motivation and development, and giving it some real impetus.

Of course the conclusion of the episode is given merely by completing the title's source phrase; 'A Long Day's Journey Into Night'. By the end of this episode, the ideas of espionage that have been stewing inside the team since the White Room incident are really starting to tear at the very fabric of the fragile family structure, with anyone and everyone being suspected.

-There's an interesting foreshadow in Lorne's line 'You may not find perfect happiness with Cordelia, but there are plenty more fish in the sea'. Of course, in the very next episode, a relationship with Cordelia, at the apotheosis of the perfect day, becomes his route to the perfect happiness that see Angelus return.

-The followers of the sun God Ra is an interesting choice for this episode's victims. I suspect many people more versed in mythology than me, (cf Celebaelin's marvellous thread last month), can explain better than me, but on a really simple level, thinking about the sun in ancient mythology really reveals its integral importance, and hence the massive symbolism in blocking out the light. The sun controlled almost everything- the harvest, the hours of work and the hours of sleep, and gave the energy from which everything grew. It's still the case. When Cordelia realises that the plants will die without the sun, it's an indication of a what a primal evil is being faced- a force so powerful that it can blot out the livelihood of everything- a truly apocalyptic spectacle. Sun imagery is always interesting going on at the Hyperion hotel. Of course, there has always been the insistent irony going on about this. Angel, the creature of the night, finding refuge from sunlight in a Hotel named after a god of the Sun. Suns, sources and beginnings seem important to this season- we must of course remember the linked beginnings of Connor, still one of the mysteries of the show as a whle, and any possible link to the advent of the Beast in the same position. Light, source, sun, energy, growth. Big themes.

The distance between Cordelia and Angel is a major visual and written point in this episode. There is the marvellous scene between Cordelia and Angel, full of pauses and anger. Cordelia does something that might in other circumstances be selfless- tells him he must re-engage with Connor after their distrust, due to his instability, but considering Cordelia's part in destabilising both of them in the first place, it is rather less gracious. In this scene it is interesting to see several shots of Angel, wearing balck, against a black background- so that all that is visible is his head. Further visual hints at his confusion- his lack of co-ordination with the group being a major factor here. He is the head, and the head had been disembodied, as Lorne tells him in his 'Champions Don't Get Days Off' spiel. He's quite right of course, and Angel's magnificent rallying speech is the result of his pep talk to Angel. There is a sly metanarrationb going on here. The military music is almost identical to that employed behind Buffy in 'Bring on the Night', and here we see how Angel's speech; direct, non-propagandaist, straightforward, works a little better, and is somewhat less tedious than Buffy's subsequent diatribes.

There are a couple of examples of the big events in LA being undermined. Of course, Mere Smith was the person who brought us the hamburger God in 'Loyalty', and here she again pricks any ridiculous pretensions that Angel might be building up. The fifth member of the all-important Ra Tet is the scruffy, hatted Manny. It is always nice to see that one member of the powerful clan is the average man, the one without powers except immortality, the evryman. Furthermore, as Gwen Raiden's re-appearance perpetuates a James Bond-style path of receding bookcases and odd, deserted stairways, we get 'Never pass up a good cliche'. The programme is always knowing enough to side-step trite, over-used nonsense- or at least to apologise for it.

The return of Gwen works well, allowing her to play off Cordelia and provide a threat to her for the first time in a while. This season has been surprisingly low on the admiring damsels who were so ubiquitous in Season One, and here a distance is quickly established between the vampire and his not-quite-lover. This is nicely expressed as we see them on watch, in the big comfortable chairs. As the camera pulls back, we are not focussing on either of them specifically, but more the space in between- the space which has grown since the wonderful 'I know you's of 'Heartthrob'.

Finally we have the last cliche of the episode, the misdirect on the door as used shamelessly by Joss Whedon in 'Hush'. Here we see Angel and Cordelia realise they must go to Connor, and then cut to him with a knock on the door. But the visitor is The Beast, not the concerned family. At this point it is debatable whether the initially commendable laissez faire attitude of Angel towards Connor from 'A New World'- giving him space and time to grow- has now gone too far. The stand-off approach, which Angel has been keen to espouse instead of his own father's protectiveness, seems to have alienated Connor perhaps too much. By this point, the doubts as to whether he has caused the Beast- whether it is his fault, have grown without re-assurance from Angel. We get the throwaway line 'Look how weird he's made her' about Connor on Cordelia- which may be an in-joke for some oddness in Cordelia entirely outside Connor's sphere on influence. In fact, it may be that Cordelia, in introducing an almost unattainable distance between Angel and Connor, has herself catalysed Connor's confusion.

The end of the episode, pretty much a straight forward revelation of information, nevertheless has the requisite effect, shifting the focus away from Connor and back to Angel, thereby expertly setting up 'Awakening' while subverting the viewer's expectation.

'Awakening' coming immediately I've typed it!


[> 'The answer is among you' (spoilers for season finale trailer) -- Masq, 11:07:50 05/04/03 Sun

Here's another one of those dangling things. What did the Red Girl mean by this? Was she talking about Connor? Angel? Angelus? Isn't it interesting that Cordy is NOT "among" the group assembled there? (Fred, Gunn, Wesley, Angel, Connor). Was she trying to help the gang, or hinder them further?

Maybe the answer lies in next week's season finale, when W&H returns?

[> The Angel, the Beast, and the Laugh of the Creator ctd (Angel Odyssey 4.10) -- Tchaikovsky, 11:10:44 05/04/03 Sun

Which leaves me just the routine job of praising David Fury ;-)

4.10- 'Awakening'

Actually, I'm still not completely letting him off the hook, because I tend not to credit solo writers for their collaborative efforts because you can't tell who wrote what. However, for whatever part he was involved in, he did well, as this is an excellent episode.

Firstly, yes there's the Bait and Switch tactic employed, and of course I fell for it. I'm really bad at these things. Although there were a few things towards the end that I was ready to call badly observed or incredible, just before we flashed back to him on the table. It was a really good balance now looking back on it. All the problems of Angel's life were speedily solved, but none of it was done using a big red arrow or anything. It was done subtly enough that it was beginning to look silly by the end, but it didn't give anything away until then.

Given the ending, it is easy to classify the episode as a one-trick pony, a clever game that quickly becomes a waste of time once the punch-line is known. Of course in this case, nothing could be further from the truth. The whole section in the middle gives us a very valuable insight into Angel's psyche. This is everything which would have to occur for him to have a moment of perfect happiness form where he is now. Of course, it involves virtually every member of his team, and reconciliation, results of inner strength, and a romance played out. Examining each in turn cuts to the heart of Angel's problems this Season. Notably, these problems will probably be altered somewhat by the introduction of Angelus to the mixture, (as I was saying, just getting interesting and I have to swap tapes!). But here, in a few shot, elegant, apparently plot-orientated acts, is precisely how Angel views his lifes' mistakes in the present.

-The Angel/Wesley reconciliation
Angel clearly has a big problem with Wesley's lack of spoken remorse for his loss of Connor in 'Sleep Tight'. When he apologises for the mistake of trying to bring back Angelus when there is a sword, Angel is quick to jump on the word 'Sorry'. When Wesley brings up the Ship, we can see it as Angel realising that Wesley saved Angel for virtually no reward, and then allows an important and awkward reconciliation. These two men have allowed their pride to get in the way of their friendship, but notice how in this perfect dream, Angel is able to get away without any admission of his own fault from the time of 'Forgiving'.

-Cordelia's Choice

Cordelia explicitly chooses Angel over Connor, thereby, to Angel, annulling all the previous problems from 'Apocalypse, Nowish' onwards. In being told that he is superior, upper in Cordelia's affections, there is a self-validation process going on; if she, the heart, the emotionally adept, finds him better, then he must have something more than his child. This is a compartmentalisation from Angel, who is still interested in having a mature relationship with Connor, but as far as Cordelia goes, merely wants to be told his worth.

-The revelation to Connor
Of course, as a result of the mode of expression, we must always be in Angel's perspective, which is one of the reasons why we see Cordelia's explanantion to Connor in front of Angel, rather than elsewhere. But this is how Angel would like it, with him at the centre of the relationship between Cordelia and Connor, and nothing independent going on out of his sight, most of which he immediately suspects as romantic or sexual

-Gunn as conventional muscle
Angel has a problem with Gunn's threatening presence, it appears. Here, Gunn is redrawn as the man gleeful about weapns, but thoughtless in using them. Happy to be told what to do, and not good with his mind. A neutralised Gunn over which he can preside so much more easily

-Connor's complicity
When the Beast appears, Connor is there to help him fight it. They become kind of comrade's in the tussle to beat the Evil, but of course it is Angel who is able to give the final blow to the Beast with the sword. This links in neatly to

-Inspirational leader; solo wizard
Although Angel gives a speech about everyone being a Champion, he is actually, as ignored in his dream, being a blazing hypocrite. He allows everyone to take a part in the action, but finally, he goes to fight alone. While he likes to believe that he has a family and a team, all important, ultimately he is the lonely boss who is figurehead to everyone else.

-Fred's appropriation
Rather than whine about how she is a physicist, not a hisotry and linguistic researcher, as she did in 'The Price' and 'Deep Down', here we see that Fred has happily come up with the key to where the sword is, and how it can kill the Beast. She is just the cog that Angel would like her to be in the Team

-The team's cohesion
Wesley and Gunn do the thing with their hands. There are no cracks any more in the Team.

-Connor's recognition of place
'She was too old for me anyway', he claims. Conveniently, and without further possessiveness, Connor allows Angel to take over. The son is the selfless person whom Angel can admire, but also who let's him have what Angel feels is his.

-Perfect happiness
Ultimately, it's always going to be sex. Suddenly, Angel is reminded of the experience with Buffy. Is this a betrayal? Who knows what Angel thinks in the moment before he loses his soul, which leads to this outburst. One interesting sidebar is that Buffy, so remote in his life now, is not needed to finish the dream of perfect happiness. Everything in his current life resolved is enough.

Angel is drawn as a complex, selfish, flawed, striving, reconciling, pleased, pleasing character throughout the dream. Some of the solutions to his problems are too simple or unbelievable, but they all shed light on his motivations and perspective at this time.

Other thoughts:
-Yet more fire imagery with the sword. The Beast also disappears in fire at the end of 'Apocalypse, Nowish'. The human made light of fire, of Hell, stands against the natural, pure light of the Sun
-Angel is portrayed as the centre of Connor's world early on, so that the rest of the episode has a certain solipsistic tendency which also applies to Connor. Connor's life is so much a reaction to his father's that he finds it difficult to establish a life beside it.
-There's a correlation made between the Beast and Angelus by Cordelia- the artistry, always being a few steps ahead, the single-minded destruction. Is that not present in Angel too? He is very quick to deny this side of him, the Angelus side, in this episode. Perhaps another flaw of his is not integrating some of what Angelus does to his other persona- so that it all becomes repressed, and so he merely broods.
-'Whatever the logic of the situation..' someone chimes in near the end. This is a lovely pun, just as we are starting to realise how illogical some of the goings on have been.
-It's 'Awakening', not 'Awakenings' as I almost wrote. That's very important. With a plural, it's about all the people realising how much they have wronged Angel, and making it up to him. Then we might believe this episode really was for real. But with 'Awakening', singular, it can only be Angel, who wakes from perfect happiness to find himself cast as Angelus...

And then the laugh, Joss Whedon's laugh at the joke, again the Creator surveying his Creation. There's been a lot of Joss stuff about the Creator in his programmes recently- it's an insistent trend: Sweet, the count in WitW, Lorne in 'Spin the Bottle', here, and in 'Storyteller'. Interesting stuff, as Joss falls to a serious self-examination through art.

Loved this episode because it was not just a trick, but an extended character revelation. I would be fascinated to read how anyone else distinguished Angel's dream universe from the real Universe he inhabits. I've picked quite a few above, but there may well have been more.

Thanks for reading.


[> [> Awakening--better spoiled or unspoiled? -- Masq, 11:23:24 05/04/03 Sun

Most people who went into Awakening unspoiled fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and weren't ready to shout, "This has got to be a dream!" until Angel started doing the naked nasty with Cordelia. It was quite masterful that way. Critics and fans of the show have commented its a very fresh take on the "it's all a dream" cliche. They actually pulled it off.

There was another contingent of folks who said they were glad that they WERE spoiled for the "it's all a dream" because they could not have survived the syrupy soup of Angel's perfect life without knowing it wasn't real. If they'd gone into the episode unspoiled, they would have turned it off half way through.

Those of us who are more sentimental, who want Angel to get a break in his life--any break--fell for it. My particular weak spot is Angel and Connor and wanting to see reconciliation in their relationship. I was less fond of the Angel and Cordy shipping parts.

I was quite shocked that they would kill off the Beast in mid-season, but of course, that didn't actually really happen here, did it?

Of course, the end is only chilling to the bone if you are unspoiled, IMHO. To realize Angel really has lost his soul, that everything was a dream, that the forces moving ahead in the beginning of the episode finished as they were intended to at the end. Brrrrrrrr!

"Soulless" is next for you TCH--and it's a real treat!

[> [> [> Puzzling question -- Tchaikovsky, 11:30:21 05/04/03 Sun

I don't really know the answer to this. I didn't find it nearly as syrupy as one of my Great Irritation episodes 'I Will Remember You [the other Great Irritation episode is 'Disharmony'- these are episodes are don't just dislike but really irked me in a special way]. However, when I'd finished, I could go back and use all my little notes as ways of characterising Angel's solipsistc views of the Universe, and I guess that's even easier if you already knew it was all a dream. It's really a bit like 'The Usual Suspects', excellent spoiled or unspoiled, and for somewhat different reasons.


[> [> [> [> Some necessary syrup -- Masq, 11:39:17 05/04/03 Sun

I think you're right in your assessment that the perfect day fantasy gives a lot of insight into Angel's character. What some people call "syrup" are in actuality Angel's fondest fantasies, and everyone's fondest fantasies are going to be a bit selfish and self-angrandizing.

More so for Angel, who finds himself the brunt of son's ire and spurned by Cordelia and forced into a corner into being turned into Angelus. Of course he's going to prefer a world where he is the hero, loved, adored.

I assume you read my ep analysis by now, and Slain's existentialist analysis of Angel's perfect day. It's perfect because things go his way without him actually having to earn them, or earn them very much. And it's interesting how that fact--that Angel is getting everything he wanted suddenly, without too much effort--seems to totally slip past the first-time unspoiled viewer.

Maybe it's because all our perfect day fantasies would be like that, if we were honest about it. Angel isn't any more selfish than anyone else. In fact, as Slain, points out, Angel's fantasy shows just how human he really is.

[> [> [> [> [> No, exactly -- Tchaikovsky, 11:52:12 05/04/03 Sun

Angel is not shown to be any more selfish or grasping than anyone else in this episode. Firstly, he is just behaving as a flawed human being- a great tribute to his quest for humanisation. Secondly, as Slain so perceptively writes, this is not Angel's perfect day per se, it is a day in which everything conforms to ideals- a day that Angel can end in perfect happiness. One can end a day in perfect happiness it having not been good for others- it must merely be good for you. This is a one off day- Angel doesn't need to deal with the consequences of what has happened in a more life-like way the next day.

And your episode analyses are excellent as always. And that's nine posts...


[> [> [> Re: Awakening--better spoiled or unspoiled? -- d'Herblay, 13:20:00 05/04/03 Sun

I may be in a better position than most to answer this question, as I, completely unspoiled, watched "Awakening" with the completely spoiled Rah. I totally fell for the damn thing, and absolutely loved it. (It is a strong contender for my Rob-style Best! Episode! Ever!) Rah knew exactly what was coming, and absolutely loved it (or at least that's what she told me). The syrup was something only noticible in retrospect (at least for me, though I'm not the sharpest axe in the woodshed): the reconcilatory moments are underplayed, as is appropriate for Wesley, a stoic character, and Kartheiser, a stoic actor; also, the episode, which really packs a half a season into 42 minutes, moves far too fast for reflection. When the Beast bought it, I found it a little too quick and perfunctory, but that didn't affect my appreciation or bring me out of my absorption (unlike the too-perfunctory, to my tastes, actual demises of the Beast and Jasmine -- ME should remember that when it kills a big bad it has to do it big: rocket launchers at the very least). The Cordelia/Angel scene was a bit discomfiting, but I'm not sure whether that was because it seemed too perfect or because I am resistant to seeing Cordelia with anyone other than Doyle (or me or maybe, in a pinch, Lilah). But by the time my doubts had just started to register, I had to cope with the final revelation itself!

Anyway, the point was, I loved it, and Rah loved it too, so I guess it can work both ways. Of course, after the ep, she had her faculties intact, while my mind was just absolutely tattered (not that one could recognize any deviation from my normal state).

[> [> [> [> Spoilers for later season 4 episodes inside! -- She who cannot be named, 14:48:52 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> You go to work on Sundays? (later spoilers repeated but not expanded upon) -- d'Herblay, 14:58:23 05/04/03 Sun

Oops -- I glossed right over those. I guess it can't be assumed that TCH knows that Big Bads, like all of us, die, can it?

Well, at least I know you're reading my posts -- though you seem to have missed my quandary, posted halfway through "Empty Spaces" and now somewhere in archive four, about whether or not Spike could even enter Gilroy city limits.

[> [> [> [> [> [> No, I'm at home using a work internet connection -- She whose name cannot be spoken, 15:20:22 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I guessed that after I posted . . . -- d'Herblay, 15:31:33 05/04/03 Sun

. . . chalk it up to another one of d'Herblay's erroneous assumptions based on the IP addresses!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Is it we can't speak it? or can't pronounce it? -- quelled, 20:30:54 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, just TCH is nervous about being seen with me -- She whose name makes dimensions tremble, 06:24:44 05/05/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Is your name 'Qthvfsp'? 'Rumpelstiltskein'? -- WickedBuffy, 13:31:36 05/05/03 Mon

[> TCH, you don't mention... -- Masq, 11:16:07 05/04/03 Sun

What you THINK of Wesley's plan to bring back Angelus. A lot of people said it felt more like a ME plot device, an excuse to bring back a character everyone would like to see, but that the idea itself--deliberately removing Angel's soul--is so drastic it is unbelievable the characters would actually do that. Wesley's a bit whacked, granted, but he's not THAT whacked.

In retrospect, I believe, the characters had a very good reason to bring back Angelus (desperation), although there is yet still another meta-level later on where the reasons for Angelus' return (on the part of the characters, and ME) still seems something of a mystery.

[> [> Careful -- Tchaikovsky, 11:36:27 05/04/03 Sun

I realise that you've just been paired off with Rufus, and I'm the wrong gender anyway, but I'm a bit worried about Random and Lady Starlight- after all this is the seventh post in this thread, and it's just you and me! Oh well...

I personally thought that the suggestion that Angelus must be brought back was heavily enough suggested to be fine. It's important that it's Wesley's initiative, not the gang as a whole, so it's not like there was a group decision made. When the shaman turns up, it just boils down to what Angel wants. After the conversation where Cordelia tells him that he doesn't have to do it, (presumably because she's the only one who saw him last time, but based on current Cordelia, who knows what she's doing), he realises how close Angelus really is to the Beast.

There doesn't seem to be a plan behind the group's proposed use of Angelus, which worries me, but I am happy to plead a mixture of desperation and personal motivations within the group, (ie Fred, Gunn and Connor really don't get a say in the matter, so its just Wesley and Angel's decision really), and believe it.


[> Re: thanks TCH -- aliera, 17:03:10 05/04/03 Sun

Just touching screen briefly...just too too nice out right now to get too tied up here...especially since my buddy conned me into a second viewing of X2 today and I already lost time to a big screen. Downloaded and looking forward to my usual lazily horizontal perusal much later. Thanks again...always a good read. :-)

[> [> Yes, thanks -- tomfool, 20:45:10 05/04/03 Sun

I only have time to skim right now, so I too am archiving for later reading. The entire series of posts now takes up 98 pages in super-compressed format. Quite an accomplishment. Thanks TCH!

[> [> [> Thanks both of you -- Tchaikovsky, 09:27:16 05/05/03 Mon

I'm not a computer person really- it's a minor miracle that I can post to this site, and a less minor one that I've worked out how to do bold bits for the titles. As such I have no idea what 'super-compressed format' is, but I'm now excited about having done 100 pages of it. I always liked arbitrary milestones. What I do know is that the Odyssey stretches to an unlikely 69,000 words at the moment, (that's a short novel folks), and that my fourth Season analyses are looking to be more wordy than any of the previous three seasons. So that's where my life's gone...


[> [> [> [> More wordy -- Masq, 09:56:43 05/05/03 Mon

Exactamundo. Can't be helped.

Which ME writer are you? -- HonorH (Drew Z. Greenberg), 14:19:49 05/04/03 Sun

Find out right here. And be afraid--very afraid!

[> Big suprise here! ;o) -- Rob (Jane Espenson), 14:25:07 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> So, you are your own not-so-secret lover, eh? -- HonorH, 14:33:28 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> 'Learning to love yourself/Is the Greaaatest Love of All....' -- Arethusa, 18:16:20 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> Well, I did decide long ago never to walk in anyone's shadow. ;o) -- Rob, 22:18:37 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> That explains the sunburn -- Darby, 09:16:29 05/05/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hmm...According to this quiz, I'm Drew Goddard. -- Rhys, 12:11:07 05/05/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! It does indeed! -- Rob, 19:34:25 05/05/03 Mon

[> I'm Mere Smith -- Sheri, 14:29:45 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Hmm, I got Mere Smith too. -- JCC, 10:52:07 05/05/03 Mon

Strange, seeing as I am of
the male side of the force. :)

[> No, I'm Mere Smith. -- Arethusa. I think., 14:39:28 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Got Mere Smith too. -- sk, 17:08:28 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> Seems I have good company -- TCH- aka Mere Smith, 09:40:50 05/05/03 Mon

And after just claiming to be one of Mere Smith's biggest fans, it all fits nicely

[> [> i AM Mere Smith -- luna, 18:12:46 05/05/03 Mon

You can tell by the poetry:

also the pictures:

[> [> [> I stand corrected! -- Arethusa after all., 20:01:12 05/05/03 Mon

Never argue with clay is my motto. And hey, I want my own action figure too.

[> I got a Tim Minear -- Majin Gojira, 14:42:15 05/04/03 Sun

[> I knew it! I knew the bastard stole my life! -- d'Herblay (the 'd' is for 'Drew Goddard'), 14:45:45 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> All the cool guys are Drew Goddard! -- grifter a.ka. Drew Goddard, 15:13:17 05/04/03 Sun

Cause our fans are far superior to everyone else´s!

[> [> [> Damn straight! -- d'Herblay, 15:36:04 05/04/03 Sun

I know mine is . . .

[> [> [> [> We should form our own clique -- Tyreseus - a.k.a. Drew Goddard's hotter twin, 16:20:35 05/04/03 Sun

Now, do I get to kill off a fascinating but minor recurring character? Look out Rona.

[> [> [> [> [> A clique needs a claque. -- Applauding Arethusa, enthusiastic supporter of Drew., 18:12:58 05/04/03 Sun

Don't mind me, I just like to play with my words before I eat them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Live that dream -- Celebaelin, 18:33:44 05/04/03 Sun

Another Drew Goddard impersonator, what it is to be popular! Not that I'm being judgemental.

[> [> [> Us cool gals too! -- ponygirl, also Drew, 06:48:07 05/05/03 Mon

[> How did I end up like this? Am I on Candid Camera? -- Random (The Joss himself), 14:50:54 05/04/03 Sun

[> Yay! I got Joss! -- Alison, 15:04:23 05/04/03 Sun

[> Re: The New!Drew ( must be the science gene) -- Silky, 15:07:56 05/04/03 Sun

[> Re: I'm 'God' (Joss)? Well, that explains a lot.... -- mundus, 15:39:47 05/04/03 Sun

[> I got Doug Petrie. -- deeva, who is slightly mystified by this, 16:05:16 05/04/03 Sun

[> This is weird - -- Darby, 16:59:59 05/04/03 Sun

This morning Sara and I watched Converstaions With Dead People. Then we took the test (take a test yourself - can you see the foreshadowing?)...

Drew Goddard (me) and Jane Espenson!

(Kieron got Mere Smith)

The Jane Espenson thing said "we felt your loss." Is that the loss of her to the show or did she lose someone?

[> [> Only Jonathan. Drew Goddard killed 'im. -- HonorH, 19:09:44 05/04/03 Sun

[> Merely Mere -- L.Sundown, fighting Sheri & Arethusa 'Gerroff! It's mine!', 17:33:21 05/04/03 Sun

Oooh! I'm hot! And I wrote Fredless!! And Orpheus!!! And I have a fan club!!!! Okay, all done with the ! insanity. Heh.

[> [> I never fight; I only wrestle. And usually jello is involved -- Arethusa, 18:17:48 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> Wrestling! Why didn't I think of that? -- LonesomeSundown, thinking of adopting a shorter posting name, 10:03:43 05/05/03 Mon

I had to shorten my name, use an ampersand instead of "and" and change "tussling with" to "fighting" to pare the line down to a Voy-acceptable length. But "wrestling" is so much yummier! Especially with jello! I vote for raspberry and will there be whipped cream later? Pretty please?

[> [> [> [> Cream plays havoc with wrestling holds. -- Arethusa, 11:12:08 05/05/03 Mon

No traction. It's like being coated with silicon spray and tossed into a fraternity house.

Not that I would know....

Arethusa, tryin' a little spicy talk.

[> Woohoo! I would've picked JE anyway - so I guess I was right! -- Cheryl (aka Jane Espenson), 17:48:41 05/04/03 Sun

[> These quizzes don't tell you anything. I've always known I'm Carl Ellsworth.... -- cjl, 20:15:31 05/04/03 Sun

Writes one brilliant story in the distant past, and spends the rest of his life trying to live up to it, looking back on the Old Days with a combination of wistful pride and unspeakable anguish, knowing he'll never top his shining moment of glory.

(OK, maybe I've said too much here....)

[> Who the !&*$ is Steve DeKnight and why is he me? -- WickedBuffy (blondies unite), 20:51:19 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Bite your tongue! -- Masq, 21:52:37 05/04/03 Sun

Deep Down. Apocalypse Nowish. Seeing Red. Inside Out.

Any of this ringing bells, WB? Steve DeKnight helped turn our Connor-boy into an accessory to murder, and turned Spike into an attempted rapist!


::sob:: noooooooo!

I'm going to study for the next 24 hours and retake the test.

I can't be the person (the only one?) who wrote the ONE BtVS scene that makes me SO sick to my stomach that I have to eat saltines for the rest of the week to quell it.

Are we sure the test isn't for discovering what BtVS writer we are LEAST like?

And I know it's bad form to kill the messenger, but.... I may have to bite you , Masq.

[> [> [> [> Not only that, but -- Masq, 14:33:48 05/05/03 Mon

S.D. killed Tara and had Cordelia seduce Connor. The man is just evil!!

; )P

[> [> [> [> [> stop it STOP IT STOOOOPPP IIITTTTTTTTT -- I AM NOT STEVE DEKNIGHT ::sob:: make it go away, 21:39:29 05/05/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Ahem! -- Rob, 01:02:19 05/06/03 Tue

"Holding the author of an episode responsible is akin to holding God responsible in a universe where God controls (at least some of) our actions and we do not have (complete) free will."--Masquerade, "Passion" Analysis

Well, actually, in the Cordy case, she may not have had that free will thing... ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry! Dropped tag! -- Rob, 01:04:49 05/06/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Didn't you see my 'tongue in cheek' emoticon??? -- Masq ; )P, 07:12:39 05/06/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL!! Yes, I did, indeed! -- Rob, 07:19:15 05/06/03 Tue

I just had never had the chance to refute someone using their own quote before, and I had just gone over your "Passion" analysis, and the timing was perfect! It made me feel very Rufusy or d'Herb-sy! ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Being d'Herb-sy.... something we all strive for! -- Masq, 09:08:32 05/06/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought you were sticking your tongue out at me. -- WickedBuffy, 08:49:59 05/06/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If you are truly distressed by this... -- Masq, 10:45:00 05/06/03 Tue

I apologize. I actually like Steven DeKnight now, or at least a far cry more than I did last year after some crude remarks he made it the wake of Tara's death and the uproar over the "dead lesbian" cliche thingee.

He of course can be put to task for things he says in interviews, but he can't really be put to task for the things that happen in his episodes. Those story events were planned out before he put fingers to keyboard, and he's no more resposible for them than any other ME writer in on the story breaking process.

It's just interesting to me how many of the character-shaking events happened in DeKnight-penned episodes. He handled them well, I think, for the most part.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I really wasn't, but then I was, then I wasn't and just now I was again but right now I'm not! -- WickedDeKnightless, 14:30:48 05/06/03 Tue

s'ok ummm I understand about writers and scripts and storylines and all... you didn't write 'em!

...except I didn't know til this moment about the crude remarks he made in the wake of Tara's death and the uproar over the "dead lesbian" cliche thingee. Not at all happy with that kind of behavior - ("IT SUCKS" SHE SCREAMS POLITELY) seems in line with what they give him to write about, I spose.

::noticing that no one is defending him or claiming to be him in the test::

I took it again and think that pants question was the trick one! Now I'm someone with lots of minions!

[> [> Re: Of course he's not, sweetie... -- aliera, 04:18:43 05/05/03 Mon you sport a blue bathrobe? ;-)

[> [> [> heh ok, I am now inspired to make a clay figure of me- to prove no resemblance -- WickedPlaydough, 12:40:00 05/05/03 Mon

[> [> I retook it! I am now 'Drew Goddard' (musta been that 'pants' question) -- WickedChameleon ::ordering minions to bite DeKnight::, 09:07:58 05/06/03 Tue

[> Re: I'm Mere Smith -- Purple Tulip, 20:51:37 05/04/03 Sun

[> Joss Whedon, Bay-beeee! *smirk* -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:28:53 05/04/03 Sun

incidentally, I would've chosen Tim Minear or David Greenwalt. But Whedon is obviously my fav writer.

[> Tim Minear, I like to kill people... Mwahahaha... -- yabyumpan, 22:18:14 05/04/03 Sun

[> Well, I always knew I was like a God(ess)... :P 'Joss' here! -- Millan, 06:50:18 05/05/03 Mon

[> New 'you know you are a Buffy fanatic when' for the list -- lunasea, 07:42:45 05/05/03 Mon

You know you are a Buffy fanatic when you know who each choice on that quiz is in reference to and maybe even when it was said. A proper minion knows about not only her own master and pays him regular tribute, but those with whom he associates.

[> [> Guess I'm not -- CW, 10:52:26 05/05/03 Mon

Most of the questions, just made me scratch my head and say, "huh?" I came up with an answer, but it wasn't any more satisfying than covering my eyes and poking my finger at a list of writers.

[> Jane Espenson too -- MaeveRigan, 09:50:09 05/05/03 Mon

Yay! Jane's my heroine, after Marti. Was Marti on the list? I want to be Marti!

[> I got Drew Goddard - good thing I just learned how to pronounce his name right -- pellenaka, 13:54:25 05/05/03 Mon

[> And the Winner is... Mere Smith! (yes, another one.) -- Graffiti, 14:13:45 05/05/03 Mon

Actually, i was Doug Petrie, until I said I had a beard...

[> Jane Espenson. Cool! -- Sarand, doing the Snoopy dance., 14:39:50 05/05/03 Mon

[> I am David Fury... -- Rhys_Michael, 10:40:16 05/06/03 Tue

guess it's the beard

My guest review of 'Sacrifice' is up at the Sanctuary! Check it out! -- Rob, 15:10:12 05/04/03 Sun

Btw, although they credit me as "Robert," it's me, Rob, not the Robert who posts here. ;o)

Click here and when you get to that page click on "Sacrifice" on the list of episodes on the left frame. Once you get to the Sacrifice page, my review is the last on the bottom.


[> mazel tov, rob! (but, um, are those spoilers on the right?) -- anom, 19:36:10 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> Good point. Didn't think of that. That's the TV Guide blurb, I believe... -- Rob, 22:17:31 05/04/03 Sun

So if you do click on the link, don't read what's on the right frame...Just click directly on the "Sacrifice" link.


[> Okay, I have the direct link... -- Rob, 22:37:12 05/04/03 Sun

It's here.


[> [> Re: Thanks for the link, Rob and... -- aliera, 05:18:26 05/05/03 Mon

Nice job! You're becoming quite (not coming up with right word, insert your own complimentary phrase!) Did you enjoy doing the review? And what do you think of that site? They have the pop culture references going, which I very much like.

[> [> [> Re: Thanks for the link, Rob and... -- Rob, 10:26:43 05/05/03 Mon

"You're becoming quite (not coming up with right word, insert your own complimentary phrase!)

I decided to insert "god-like being," and thank you very much. I know! ;o) Just j/k! No seriously, very sweet of you to say.

Yes, I enjoyed writing the review. I've been the head movie review for my high school newspaper and done numerous reviews for the various colleges I attended. I love writing them, and am even thinking of going into film studies, possibly as a film or TV critic. So, yeah.

I like the Sanctuary a lot for the information. I usually tend to disagree with the reviews. It seems to me that the people who run the site have a very clear idea of how they want the show to be, and when it deviates, they tend to rank an episode lowly. Personally, I love when AtS goes to unexpected places, especially this season. I love Connor, too, which isn't big there. But as an informational site, it's great. Very in-depth. I wanted to write a review there most in order to voice some positivity about this season.


[> [> [> [> Re: LOL and thank you for that too, Rob and perhaps you'd like... -- aliera, 15:41:31 05/05/03 Mon

to be godlike at Wesleyan? even better, perhaps josslike..

(5) We know quite a lot about Whedon's influences. A graduate of Wesleyan University with a degree in film studies... (7) We can assume that someone who refers routinely to the "baroque" stage in the evolution of genre has absorbed Thomas Schatz' Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmaking, and the Studio System and who speaks of understanding "the motivation of the man with the murderous gaze, . . . of the terrible objectifying male" (Longworth 215) has mastered the ideas of Laura Mulvey.

The great directors of the 1970s and 80s often were film school grads. Tarantino established the 1990's video store auteur tradition. Though himself a former video store employee and cognizant of the new auteurhood trajectory-he has quipped that "Actors wait tables, directors work at video stores" (Onion AV Club Interview)-Whedon may well represent yet a new career path: the film studies auteur, just as likely to be familiar with critical schools and narratological theory as with lenses and filters and aspect ratios. (Lavery, Slayage #7, I think)

One of my real regrets is that I watched the shows with so little understanding of how this type of art is created; but perhaps it's just as well because I'll be able to view them naively and then learn and review them from those other perspective. I guess no reflecting that that would be my preference, I wonder how someone like Joss is really able to capture that sense of wonder of the unknowledged to see through their eyes and create something that works...if I understand the craft behind the magic will it no longer seem magical or numinous?

But back to godlike...I hope you didn't mean godlike like...

SPIKE: The thing is . . . I had a speech. I learned it all. Oh, God. She won't understand, she won't understand.

WARREN: Of course she won't understand, Sparky. I'm beyond her understanding. She's a girl. Sugar and spice and everything...useless unless you're baking. I'm more than that. More than flesh . . .

GLORY: . . . more than blood. I'm . . . you know, I honestly don't think there's a human word fabulous enough for me. Oh, my name will be on everyone's lips, assuming their lips haven't been torn off. But not just yet. That's alright, though . . .

ADAM: . . . I can be patient. Everything is well within parameters. She's exactly where I want her to be. And so are you, Number 17. You're right where you belong . . .

THE MAYOR: . . . So what'd you think? You'd get your soul back and everything'd be Jim Dandy? Soul's slipperier than a greased weasel. Why do you think I sold mine? (laughs) Well, you probably thought that you'd be your own man, and I respect that, but . .

"You think you know . . . what's to come . . . what you are. You haven't even begun," BWAHAHA.....

Cuz, ya know, that job's already taken.

Shamelessly copied from Mr. Lavery's article on the new Joss religion in narrative in Slayage #7 which I reread last eve (do you suppose he read spoilers? Nah! But that title is just too good given the seasons storylines). I know what you mean about the other but as a survivor of last years distresses on the boards I'm not too phased by show criticism any more... probably ruining an impression but I'll seek out and read even more critical reviews; but only if they are funny and I have a deep appreciation for good criticism well timed and worded and stylish, which is quite rare... "Anyone can become angry--that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way--this is not easy." --Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics and guys, to forstall any thoughts this is not related to anything else that's been on the board recently or currently. Just I think it's very difficult to write pure criticism in the way I understand it since once a person develops a strong negative it seems to colour the lenses.

In fact, I thought to see more of it through this looking glass this year as things are spiralling down. That realization that everything that had a potentiality to happen and to be told and to brought right (or into the individuals POV) can't possibly be crammed into the little time that left. I'm probably not frequenting the right water holes this year for that... we drift here but the boat seems to always right itself eventually. I think it's very easy to be affected...just recently I went to see Xmen 2 (twice) and looking for a disappointment in Storm's character so I am so not immune to it myself...the person I watched the movie with (twice) can't see this at all he thinks that Storm is fantastic. She is but not the fantastic I wanted...this doesn't ruin everything there's plenty to enjoy but it does give me a sense of regret for what might have been, and a deeper appreciation for what Joss actually did and is still doing. I just don't find that too often.

Boy I got rambling and even droning on didn't I? I basically have great admiration for those folks who have the creativity and the wherewithal to do all those websites I love to flit around and also those who are disciplined enough to actually string three words together and then bold enough to post'em...and hey (bonus) the reading of keeps me off the streets at nite too. ;-)

Season 6 Full Circle Fun -- Sgamer82, 19:33:54 05/04/03 Sun

I happened to think of something earlier today that I thought was worth mentioning.

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but the Buffy writers did something that helps in bringing S6 full circle. Season 6's first and last episodes each featured a creation of Warren Mears.

Warren is the inventor of the Buffybot, built for Spike, and featured in the first two Season 6 episodes.

Though indirectly, Warren is also responsible for DarkWillow, since it's his actions that bring about Willow's fall to darkness.

There's also an interesting contrast that the BuffyBot was being made a protector, while DarkWillow made herself a destroyer.

This really doesn't have much to do with anything. I just thought it was an interesting thing to point out.

dirty girls question speculation spoiler? -- tam, 21:06:39 05/04/03 Sun

in dirty girls does caleb say something to the first about glory? you don't think she is coming back do you?

[> Re: dirty girls question speculation spoiler? -- Ray, 03:38:54 05/05/03 Mon

I don't recall him mentioning Glory. He's a Bible guy and might've used the word glory.
I doubt she's coming back (be neat though)

19th century definition of the soul -- Katrina, 07:01:48 05/05/03 Mon

In an earlier thread, people were discussing the question of what it means to have a soul, and I didn't have a chance to post. I'm writing a little essay on Catherine Crowe's 1848 book The Night Side of Nature, which was a best-seller with stories and speculations about the occult. Starting out, she gives an overview of ideas about the "soul" and the "spirit" as they were being debated in the popular press. Basically, that "the Ego, or I, is the resultant of the three forces, Pneuma, Psyche, Soma -- spirit, soul, and body. Her definition of the "spirit" is a little unclear to me: "the spirit that dwells within us is the spirit of God, incorporated in us for a period, for certain ends of His own." Also, following some 19th century theologians I'm unfamiliar with (Eschenmayer, anyone?), she definitely equates the "spirit" with the "conscience." The word "Pneuma" makes me think of it as something like the animating life force, which breathes life into the body, and also has some (not totally clear) relationship with the "soul." But it's at "soul" where it gets very Whedonlike. "Its functions are, to will, or choose, to think, and to feel, and to become thereby congisant of the true, the beautiful, and the good; comprehending the highest principle, the highest ideal, and the most perfect happiness." Perfect happiness! Later, she describes a situation where the soul is underdeveloped, or has in some other way "divorced itself...from the spirit. The voice of the conscience is then scarcely heard; and the soul, degraded and debased, can no longer performs its functions of discerning the true, the beautiful, and the good."

As I said, I'm a little unclear about the role she thought the "spirit" played in the human's life, but in a Buffyverse way, it seems that with the "spirit," one could still have a rudimentary conscience, or at least a sense of right and wrong, which at least a small few of the Buffyverse vampires have exhibited. It would also suggest that the "perfect happiness" clause is suitable only to a being with a soul: that only an integrated Angel could ever feel it, and Angelus could not, if it had ever been an issue.

Clearly it's ridiculous to read too much into this, but I thought it was an interesting defintion. BTW, Crowe is credited with bringing the word "poltergeist" from German to English, and though not herself a real philosopher, seemed to be assuming that her audience would agree upon these basic definitions.

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